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Oncol Rev. 2012 Dec 28;6(2):e22. doi: 10.4081/oncol.2012.e22. eCollection 2012 Oct 2.

Spontaneous regression of breast carcinoma: review of English publications from 1753 to 1897.

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Medical Foundation & Clinic, Enugu, Nigeria.


Regression is an important phenomenon in oncology. Two reviews in 2011 dealt at length with what in modern parlance may be called its permutations and combinations. Specifically, in both 1982 and 1987, when its occurrence in breast cancer was presented from two centers, the oldest accounts of it were dated back to 1900. Therefore, a search for much older English literature was undertaken in order to widen current knowledge of this important problem. Consequently, a published long case dating back to 1897 is abridged and a short 1846 case is also noted. Furthermore, general etiological concepts are exemplified as far back as 1753. It is concluded that the history of cancer regression is like fishing in an ocean of this illness. However, the findings are deemed to complement what modern historical accounts lack.


breast cancer; history; review; spontaneous regression.

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