A brief history of breast cancer: Part II - Evolution of surgical pathology

Ritu Lakhtakia*, Roshan F. Chinoy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The origins of pathology (Greek, pathologia = 'study of emotions or suffering') could perhaps date back to ancient physicians struggling through observations and philosophy to unravel the mysteries of the human body and its afflictions. While the recordings of the Egyptians (3,500-2,000 B.C.) revealed through the Edwin Smith Papyrus, the Mesopotamians (Code of Hammurabi, 2200 B.C.) and the Greek civilisation (Hippocrates 460-370 B.C.) attributed deformity and destruction to demonical, deitical or humoral influences, it was only during the golden Islamic age from the 8th century and the Renaissance period of European history that the earliest seeds of scientific pathological practice were sown. Surgery, until the last century the only modality to treat breast cancer, predated the evolution of 'surgical' pathology by millennia narrated in part I of this article. Technological advancement combined with insightful understanding of pathogenesis made pathology the focal point of oncological practice only in the 19th century. The science of breast cancer benefited from its emergence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e319-e322
JournalSultan Qaboos University Medical Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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