When did Cancer first show up?
Most People have thought that Cancer showed up when we started to put hormones in dairy and “meat” cows, started to use pesticides, started to use vaccine programs in Schools, built homes with lead paint or asbestos, and even those who lived in places near power plants, bad water supplies and electrical lines. But cancer is and has been around for thousands of years, however, it did not have a name except (Edwin smith papyrus disease) but finally first called cancer in the 1800’s.
But we know, due to architectural findings, that cancer has been around since the dawn of time. How do we know this? Through mummified remains in Egypt, skeletal remains and fossilized bone tumors. Another source is Egyptian manuals or transcripts describing hundreds of examples of a No cure” disease. A disease which was unknown to man which killed people.
Now, imagine yourself in Egyptian days and all of a sudden a small growth on your neck or breast grows and grows and grows, and THERE WAS NO CURE. Back in those days, their only source of medicine was herbs and ointments. You got weaker and weaker and finally died.
Remember Frankenstein? Taking body part, connecting nerves and creating life… lions and tiger and bears, oh my!!!!.. On a serious note, it wasn't until the 1500’s that “the Medical community” (meaning several doctors illegally stealing corpses) so that they can really dissect and study the human body and how it worked, and started to discover the function of the myriad of body parts. Now, if you read most blogs, or google the history, most go something like this…
“During the beginning of the 15th Century scientists developed greater understanding of the workings of human body and its disease processes. “(1)
However, lets call a spade a spade. It is very true that even into the 1800’s (or 19th century) that especially in England, they were still stealing corpse from grave yards (which became common place in the late 19th century to now have hospitals and institutions support and develop actual Medical hospital
The most well known “stealer of corpses” was Leonardo Da Vinci. Corpses, for religious purposes and beliefs, was the reason, autopsy’s were illegal. He was the very first to study the motion of man, the function of organs. Remember this diagram?
(figure 1).. Da Vinci’s image of man
Other then his famous paintings and invention, this is the most famous “diagram” of man with notes. Now, you cannot see his extensive notes ON HIS GRAVE ROBBED BODIES, especially since he used to write backwards so that others didn’t know what he was writing. Now, during that time, “legal Autopsies, done by Harvey (1628), led to an understanding of the circulation of blood through the heart and body” (1).
Then, in 1721, Giovanni Morgagni developed the Autopsy we use today to find the cause of diseases and once that happened, found the immune system and inner workings of the human body. It is rumored that he found and used Da vinci’s extensive coded notes. During this time, he laid out and identified the study of cancer. Then, in the late 18th century, a Scottish surgeon suggested that some cancers could be sued from surgery, however, anesthesia wasn't available until almost 100 years earlier. Can you imagine having surgery with nothing to deaden the pain? Can you imagine being totally awake during But still, progress was being made and even if one life was spared back then, it would have been considered a success.
Throughout the ages, backing up to Egyptian times, cancer was blamed on the Gods and they used to say “The Gods are angry”, remember Spartacus? Praying to the Gods that they would survive the arena. Fast forward, some people thought that cancer was contagious, and they were quarantined .
Bibliography (1) History of Cancer -
figure 2.. grave robber http://desertnegatives.blogspot.com/2012/05/body-snatcher.html
The origin of the word cancer, was because of the crab like non or ulcer forming tumors. The father of the word cancer is a roman physician Celsus(28-50bc). Galen, another Roman physician(130-180AD)used the word Oncos which is Greek for swelling and then lastly, there is Hippocrates(460 BC) .He used the term Carcinos which is Greek for cancer and is known as the “Father of medicine (even though Da Vinci “got the ball rolling”.) Now, put it all together…
1) Oncos = Oncologist
2) Carcinos= Cancer
Over the Centuries, more and more was put into these unexplained Tumors. Fast forward to today, we know the definition of cancer to be “cells in the body which grow bigger and bigger... Growing out of control effecting either the organ/bone it’s attached to and we also know that these cells can travel and be released further to attach to other organs”. Cancer is the second highest cause for death. Based on statistics, ½ of all men will develop cancer in their life time, and 1/3 of all women will develop cancer in their life time. God created such a wonder body, but its not without problems.
The turn of discovering flaws in our bodies/organs/internal workings was in the 19th century when Randolf Virchow(founder of Cellular pathology)provided the modern scientific pathologist study of cancer. What he did, was to take the notes of legal and illegal notes of people like DaVinci and Morgagi to develop the clinical course of the illness by applying microscopic pathology to each cell. You see? Even though he was not considered “the father of medicine”, his was the huge breakthrough of diagnosing real and actual cancer. But Virchow developed a better understanding of the damage cancer does on the human body. At his insistence, he got funding even though he could not present the Illegal findings of Da Vinci because of obvious reasons. It was this funding, that allowed him to better understand the damage that cancer does on the body. It was this funding that allowed him to develop surgery to remove tumors and to diagnose through tissue sampling.
But going back to Hippocrates, he believed that there were four Humors (Bodily fluids)
3) Yellow Bile
4) Black Bile
Hippocrates played with these four bodily fluids, and in the beginning, he believed that black vial was cancer cells. He also believed, was when these 4 fluids were balanced, the person was healthy.
One theory which replaced… rather added too… was that the human body was a free flowing river of liquids. Lymphatic is a clear liquid which freely flows throughout the body destroying bad cells(infections) and diseases. Now, one must wonder why then, cancer cells are not destroyed by the lymphatic system and the answer is simple, because cancer cells fool the lymphatic system into believing that the cancer cell is healthy. Stahl and Hoffman , after extensive study, thought that cancer was made up from fermented and degenerating lymph’s.
So, now we have the theory that the body is made up of free flowing liquids. In 1838 German pathologist Johannes Muller believed that Cancer cells were not normal cells nor were they lymph cells, they were just cancer cells which didn't come from normal cells(they were cells of their own). However, His student Rudolf Virchow, who became more famous then his teacher, determined that all cells, including cancer cells, were derived from other cells.
CRONIC IRRITATION THEORY.
At first, with these Corpse, it was thought that chronic irritation was the cause of cancer, however, when they started to dissect the entire body, they discovered that there were tumors in other parts of the body disproving that it didn’t spread. One single cell can spread to the rest or the body. This, in those days, was an incredible find that's to Mr. Thiersch (they were not doctors in those days). They discovered, that one single cell usually spread into the lungs, bones, liver and brain.
In the late 1800’s and as early as 1920, it was no longer thought that cancer was contagious, that they thought that it was spread by a parasite. However, the theory was still the thinking that the cells were caused by trauma. Now , backtracking a bit, lets talk about when the first official hospital was created. The Story of the Creation of the Nation's First Hospital. Pennsylvania Hospital was founded in 1751 by Dr. Thomas Bond and Benjamin Franklin "to care for the sick-poor and insane who were wandering the streets of Philadelphia.". However, the autopsy was not created yet thus making grave robbing still a necessity.
TECHNOLOGY OF TUMOR SUPPRESSION THEORY
By the mid 20th century, doctors and scientists started working together to discover both chemistry and biology theories on cancer. Watson and Crick worked together and came up with DNA theory. because of this discovery, it was found out that cancer. They also discovered that mutation was possible in the right conditions for which is 1962 they received a Nobel prize. They eventually discovered as well, that cancer was not only chemical (carcinogen), inherited (Genetically linked genes), radiation and virus.
Fast forward to modern day technology, after centuries of illegal grave robbing, mad scientists method.
MODERN DAY THEORIES
In 1911 Peyton Rou was discovered a type of cancer in chickens that was caused by Rous sarcoma virus. In 1915, cancer was found in rabbits with the same type of carcinogen. 150 years after smoking was introduced into society as a pleasure/stress reducing/ social status (nicotine) was rediscovered as a carcinogen. I mean, as of the early 1900, if you didn't smoke, you were not normal, after all, thousand years ago the Indians smoked, the Egyptians smokes and so forth. However, modern day scientists tell us that there are over 100 carcinogens (chemical, physical, and biological) that were identified in tobacco. Okay, lets not blame everything on smoking because from many of these carcinogens associations recognized long before, scientists understood the mechanism by which the cancer was produced. The keyword continues to be research in discovering new carcinogens, explaining how they cause cancer and providing insight into ways to prevent it.
Cancer causing viruses
(1) Hepatitis B or C viruses cause liver cancer. (2) Epstein-Barr viruses cause non-Hodgkin lymphomas and nasopharyngeal cancer. (3) The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is associated with Kaposi Sarcoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. (4) Human papilloma viruses (HPVs) are associated with cervix, vulva and penis cancers.
1893 WAS A HUGE YEAR….. The x-ray machine was finally developed. Within 3 years, they discovered that cancer could be detected by this new “miracle” machine. Even though cancer was not as prevalent then as it is today, this was thought as a modern day progressive detection. The problem with this discovery, is that it was determined that radiation can cause cancer plus cure it.
GROWTH SIGNAL INHIBITORS
Fast forward to the 1960’s, it was determined and recognized, that growth factors in cells will grow and divide. Basically, growth factors role in fetal growth and tissue repair was recognized and later scientists realized that abnormal levels of growth factors contribute to the growth of cancer cells. During 1980’s scientists recognized that changes in growth factors signaling leads to abnormal behavior of cancer cells. Present targeted therapies that block growth factor signals are trastuzumab, gefitinib, imatinib and cetuximab.
From grave robbers digging up fresh corpses to see how the human body works, to years before Christ, cancer has been around and throughout the ages, each stage of the cancer game has had its own mystical reasons of cancer and how the body works, we certainly have come a long way from those times. The modern era of cancer and the perfection of diagnosis and treatments, means that the survival rate has gone way up since the days before Christ and if it took Da Vinci steeling bodies (called body snatching in those days which if caught, was a hanging offense) to discover and isolate fluids in the body, then so be it. Can you imagine if it weren't for the likes of the early discoverers, would we know what cancer is today, yet alone how the human body works?. In the modern times of today, there are so many incredible discoveries such as nanotechnology (which we have talked about before),targeted treatments, RNA profiling (gene profiling), molecular biology and discovering new class’s of molecules, not to mention, the formation (years ago) of the American cancer society, to fundraisers and cancer awareness, not to mention, the internet, the future is looking bright for survival, early detection and treatment….. As I personally think we owe a debt of gratitude to all those who literally risked their lives in the early days for bringing us into the modern age.
Leonardo Da Vinci… thank you!!!!