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Oldest descrpiptions and origins of the word CANCER

Our oldest description of cancer (although the word cancer was not used) was discovered in Egypt and dates back to about 3000 BC. It’s called the Edwin Smith Papyrus and is a copy of part of an ancient Egyptian textbook on trauma surgery. It describes 8 cases of tumors or ulcers of the breast that were removed by cauterization with a tool called the fire drill. The writing says about the disease, “There is no treatment.”

The origin of the word cancer is credited to the Greek physician Hippocrates (460-370 BC), who is considered the “Father of Medicine.” Hippocrates used the terms carcinos and carcinoma to describe non-ulcer forming and ulcer-forming tumors. In Greek, these words refer to a crab, mostlikely applied to the disease because the finger-like spreading projections from a cancer called to mind the shape of a crab. The Roman physician, Celsus (28-50 BC), later translated the Greek term into cancer, the Latin word for crab. Galen (130-200 AD), another Greek physician, used the word oncos (Greek for swelling) to describe tumors. Although the crab analogy of Hippocrates and Celsus is still used to describe malignant tumors, Galen’s term is now used as a part of the name for cancer specialists – oncologists. (1)

Definition of Oncology

A branch of medicine that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. It includes medical oncology (the use of chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and other drugs to treat cancer), radiation oncology (the use of radiation therapy to treat cancer), and surgical oncology (the use of surgery and other procedures to treat cancer).  (2)

SOURCES : (1) American Cancer Society 2) National Cancer Institute dictionary, USA

Since 1998 we are doing business in the wider sector of Oncology-Haematology, initially by introducing advanced medical devices, diagnostic agents & nuclear medicine products and later by importing pharmaceuticals of various therapeutic classes, originators and generics.

Aenorasis’ innovation in this sector was the fact that it was the first company to import a biosimilar drug in the Greek market, and more specifically in the distinct sector of Oncology – Heamatology.

The great success of this enterprise opened the door to biosimilars being included as standard treatment in the Greek market, thus contributing to therapeutic pluralism and to the reduction of treatment costs.




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The information referred to for general information and informing the public and in any case can not replace a doctor or other suitably qualified health professional. The responsibility of the media carries by ENORASIS SA