A Little History of Cancer

My long time friend Richard at his daughter’s graduation from Tuffs College in Boston, MA 2014. Had cancer at this time but didn’t know it.

If you know me you know I had Colon Cancer in 2014.  And of course since I am writing this in 2018 I survived this life changing event thanks to good friends and medicine.

Before I get into my story about Cancer I always like to do a little research on the history of what my topic is if there is any. So below is a brief history.

Rectal cancer has been diagnosed in an Ancient Egyptian mummy who had lived somewhere around 323 BCE (1)

The Biblical King Jehoram of Judah, about 849 BCE, was recorded in 2 Chronicles 21 to be cursed with an incurable disease of the bowel, leading to his death, due to his supposed evil deeds. Modern scholarship indicates that his condition was most likely colon cancer. (2)

Information from Wikipedia.  I just googled it; I did not read the books, though I might.

  1. Rehemtulla, Alnawaz (December 2010). “Dinosaurs and Ancient Civilizations: Reflections on the Treatment of Cancer”Neoplasia12 (12): 957–968. doi:10.1593/neo.101588PMC 3003131PMID 21170260.
  2. Jump up^ Louba, Liubov (December 2004). “Colorectal carcinoma that afflicted King Jehoram”. Minerva Med95 (6): 557–561. PMID 15785440.

So in other words Modern Humans have been afflicted with this disease for a long time.

So fast forward to the 20th and 21st Century.

In the 1970’s everyone favorite colonoscopy was brought into use to aid in the early detection of polyps which are the early stages of the disease.

Between 1985 and 1991 surgery and the use of chemotherapy were found to be a cure for this cancer.

In the 1990’s new gene tests for hereditary conditions (some cancers are hereditary and some are diet or environmental based) are developed.

Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States.

Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women in the United States.

It’s expected to cause about 50,630 deaths during 2018.

(Data from the American Cancer Society’s Web site https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/about/key-statistics.html)

As I said a brief history of the disease.  In my posts about this disease I will talk about my journey.  What worked for me (I am not an expert or a medical professional).

I will digress at times to talk about various cancer related topics.  But in my next post I will start telling you of my 2014 journey with colon cancer.

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