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Cancer History - The History of Cancer


Updated June 02, 2014

More Theories on the Causes of Cancer

The lymph theory developed in the 17th century, replacing Hippocrates' black bile theory on the cause of cancer. The discovery of the lymphatic system gave new insight to what may cause cancer. It was believed that abnormalities in the lymphatic system was the cause.

It wasn't until the late 19th century that Rudolph Virchow recognized that cells, even cancerous cells, derived from other cells.

Other theories surfaced, such as cancer being cause by trauma, parasites, and it was thought that cancer may spread "like a liquid." It was later concluded that cancer spread through malignant cells by German surgeon, Karl Thiersch.

In 1926 a Nobel Prize was wrongfully awarded for the discovery of the cause of stomach cancer a worm.

The 20th century saw the greatest progression in cancer research. Research identifying carcinogens, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and better means of diagnosis were discovered.

Today, we are able to cure some types of cancer, and research is ongoing. Clinical trials and research studies are out key to finding a cure, or a definitive method of prevention.

More About Cancer:


American Cancer Society - History of Cancer.

The Chemical Heritage Foundation -Chemotherapy Timeline.

National Cancer Institute - Closing in on Cancer: Solving a 5000-Year-Old Mystery).

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