Cancer is known to man since ancient times. Hippocrates described some forms of tumors.
Surgical treatment of tumors was used in the medical schools of ancient Egypt, China, India, the Incas of Peru, etc. However, despite the considerable interest in the emergence and growth of tumors, despite multiple and various attempts to treat them during several centuries, the level of medical science did not allow deeply study the processes. This became only possible with the invention of the microscope and the development of pathological anatomy in the second half of the XIX century.
The observation of so-called occupational cancer has played a prominent role in the study of the causes of cancer. In 1775, an English surgeon P. Pott described scrotal cancer in chimney sweeps, which was caused by the long-term contamination with soot, smoke particles, and products of the distillation of coal.
These facts have led to the study of 1915-1916, when Japanese scientists Yamagiwa and Ichikawa lubricated the skin of rabbit’s ears with coal tar and received an experimental cancer. Later, in 1932-1933, the studies of Heeger, Cook and their co-workers helped to discover that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) , and in particular benzopyrene, which are the base of various resins, are carcinogens. Nowadays, along with hydrocarbons, other carcinogenic substances are known, which belong to other classes of chemical compounds: amino-nitrogen compounds, cyclic amines, nitroso, aflatoxins etc.
Some observations of professional human diseases and numerous animal studies have shown that the x-rays and ultraviolet rays, radium, and radioactive substances may have carcinogenic effect.
An important citalopram stage in the history of cancer was the discovery of the viral nature of some chicken sarcomas by Routh in 1910-1911.
The study of carcinogenic hydrocarbons led to the development of accurate quantitative methods for their detection in the various components of the environment. Based on the results of these studies, a set of recommendations was developed for the prevention of cancer.
The greatest scope has been acquired by experimental and clinical studies on the cancer chemotherapy treatment. To the traditional methods of the cancer treatment – surgery and radiation – drug treatment has been added.
Despite the fact that malignant tumors are known since ancient times, oncology (from the Greek oncos – swelling, logos – word, science) is a young science – it is only 100 years old, and its extensive development began only in the XX century. Its main objectives are to determine the causes of tumors, find methods of prevention, develop early detection methods, and find an effective treatment.
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