The Role of Chemistry in History

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Early Cancer Treatments

April 29th, 2008 · No Comments ·

Structure and Properties | Early Cancer Treatments | Discovery | Treatment and Side Effects | Historical Significance 



  The earliest known treatment of cancer dates back to 2500 BC with the Egyptians. Ancient records tell of surgeries to remove tumors from the body as well as other medicines of antiquity.  During the Roman Empire, praying and ancient rituals were used to help treat the growth of cancerous tumors on the body. 

In the late 16th and 17th centuries, a better understanding of the human anatomy led to breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer and experiments led to disprove the myth excess black bile caused cancer. By the 19th century, microscopes helped scientists understand the interaction between the body and the disease.

In 20th century, curing cancer had become a goal of many scientists, and in 1938, the United States Congress founded the National Cancer Institute. As a result, surgeries were vastly improved, hormone therapy was established, and countless hours of priceless research has been done. 

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