Who Was The First Person To Discover Melanoma


Who Was The First Person To Discover Melanoma ?  

Melanoma is a form of skin cancer which occurs rarely but can be lethal. Although it is not a new disease, there are very few traces of its occurrence even historically. There are reports which suggest that in the 1960s there was a radiocarbon dating done of Peruvian Inca mummies which showed signs of melanoma with masses in the skin and metastases to the bones.

In 1787, John Hunter was the first person to have operated on a metastatic melanoma. Although he operated on it, he was not sure at that time of the exact disease. The excised tumor, preserved in the Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, was microscopically examined not before 1968, when it was identified as a metastatic melanoma.

It was the French physician René Laennec who was the first identify melanoma as a disease. After being presented in a lecture in 1804 for the Faculté de Médecine de Paris, it was published in 1806 in the form of a bulletin. In 1820, William Norris, an Englishman, presented the first English language report of the disease. In 1857, he came out with his work called ‘Eight Cases of Melanosis with Pathological and Therapeutical Remarks on That Disease; wherein he spoke of a familial predisposition to develop the disease melanoma.

Later on, in 1840, it was Samuel Cooper who spoke and explained about how advanced melanoma cannot be treated. As what is the case now several years later, Samuel had said back then that the only way to treat melanomas is if it is diagnosed early. The later it is diagnosed, the more difficult is its treatment.

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