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Can Bull Med Hist. 2002;19(2):431-40.

Ibn Zuhr (Avenzoar)'s description of verrucous malignancy of the colon (with an English translation from Arabic and notes on its Hebrew and Latin versions).

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Department of Pathology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA.


Ibn Zuhr (ca. 1091-1161) is the most important physician of Muslim Spain. His Kitâb al-Taysîr, translated into Hebrew and Latin, is principally a manual of therapeutics containing descriptions of clinical cases. His description "On Verrucae (tha'âlîl) that Occur in the Stomach [sic]," which deals with an emaciated Berber who evacuates a tumour the size of an apple in his stools, represents the first detailed report of a cancer of the colon. Latin and Hebrew translations of this report are close to the Arabic, but it is doubtful that the Latin text is based on the Hebrew. The possibility of an intermediate Judeo-Arabic text should be considered.

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