History of Cancer Treatment

The ancient Egyptians claimed that cancer was caused by the gods. However, cancer did not occur very often in ancient Egypt. The reason for this was that people did not live to a very old age and the environment was still clean. The Greek physician Hippocrates believed that cancer was caused by an excess of black bile in the body. The ancient Greeks could already distinguish between malignant and benign tumors. In ancient Rome, cancer patients were operated on and continued to be operated on for about 2,000 more years. All that time, doctors were trying to figure out what was causing the disease and how it could be cured; in 1903, Marie Curie discovered radium, which was used to treat cancer.

Marie Currie

High energy rays are still used today because they destroy cancer cells, but they also destroy healthy cells in the patient. During World War II, scientists discovered chemotherapy and began using this treatment; the first drug was used on metastatic tumors in 1956. This was a breakthrough in cancer treatment and gave people hope for a cure. Chemotherapy has continually evolved and is now milder, but it also destroys healthy cells such as white blood cells. As a result, patients undergoing this treatment must be careful not to go out with people too often, and their immune systems are also weakened. Now there are already targeted therapies that simply target the diseased cells directly, and healthy cells are more protected and not harmed. A newer treatment is anti-cancer immunotherapy. This specifically targets the immune system.


It is also effective in preventing cancer. Women should have mammograms and should have them regularly, once a year starting at age 45. Incidentally, mammograms date back to 1913, which will be discussed in more detail in the next article. Thanks to this test, breast cancer can be detected before it becomes painful. This makes the disease 90% curable, less painful, and quicker. Once a year, one should go to an ophthalmologist for a preventive checkup. This way, thanks to modern technology, eye cancer can be detected early and begin to be cured. It can be cured quickly, without loss of eye or vision, but it can also cause loss of vision if it progresses. It is important to take time for preventive examinations, to lead a healthy lifestyle, to eat a balanced diet, to avoid too much stress, to play sports and exercise, and to get regular sleep.