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J Laryngol Otol. 2015 Jun;129(6):535-9. doi: 10.1017/S0022215115001218. Epub 2015 May 25.

Surgical treatment of head and neck cancers in the ancient world.

Author information

1
Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery,Princess Royal Hospital,Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust,UK.
2
Department of Otolaryngology,East Surrey Hospital,Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust,UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This paper attempts to chart the history of head and neck cancers and their surgical treatment, starting from ancient Egypt and concluding with Galen.

CONCLUSION:

The ancient Egyptians appear to have treated head and neck cancers with local applications. The ancient Greek corpus contains a reference to treating pharyngeal carcinoma with cautery, but the description is too vague to establish the diagnosis conclusively. The ancient Romans moved away from surgical treatments, with Galen establishing a prejudice against surgery that would last through the Middle Ages.

KEYWORDS:

Ancient; Head And Neck Neoplasms; History

PMID:
26004289
DOI:
10.1017/S0022215115001218
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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