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Chemo Secrets From a Breast Cancer Survivor

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i.C. Egyptians use cautery to destroy breast cancer.

Hippocrates describes the clinical symptoms of cancer and coins the terms "carcinoma" and "sarcoma." century A.D. Roman physicians use surgery to treat breast cancer.

A.D. The Greek physician Lenoidas first describes a mastectomy as a treatment of breast cancer.

John Hunter, the "Father of Scientific Surgery," describes principles of surgical oncology including cancer as local disease and lymphatic spread.

Percival Pott describes scrotal cancer in chimney sweeps, first identifying a specific etiology of cancer. The first modern elective surgery for an abdominal cancer is performed: the removal of a 22-lb ovarian tumor by Ephraim MacDowell.

Joseph Recamier first describes the principles of tumor metastasis.

The first major cancer operation is performed under general anesthesia: the excision of the submaxillary gland and part of the tongue by John Collins Warren.

Lister describes the principles of antisepsis and introduces carbolic acid, greatly reducing the morbidity of surgery.

First total laryngectomy for laryngeal cancer by Theodore Billroth. First partial gastrectomy for cancer by Theodore Billroth. First colectomy for colon cancer by Robert Weir.

New York Cancer Hospital becomes the first hospital in the United States specifically for cancer treatment.

First hemipelvectomy by Theodore Billroth; first radical mastectomy for breast cancer by William Halsted.

Roentgen discovers X-rays, ultimately leading to radiation oncology; G.T. Beason performs the first oophorectomy as hormonal treatment for breast cancer.

First abdominoperineal resection for rectal cancer by W. Ernest Miles.

Theodore Kocher first describes thyroid surgery.

Both the American Association for the Advancement of Cancer (which would become the American Cancer Society) and the American College of Surgeons are established.

James Ewing publishes Neoplastic Diseases, promoting the concept of the multidisciplinary treatment of cancer.

First resection of pulmonary metastases by George Divis. First pancreaticoduodenectomy for pancreatic cancer by Allen O. Whipple. The James Ewing Society is established to "further our knowledge of cancer." Chemotherapy begins with the discovery of nitrogen mustards and folic acid antagonists. The initiation of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast Project (NSABP).

Dr. Walter Lawrence establishes a division of surgical oncology at the Medical College of Virginia. The Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) is established.

The term surgical oncologist is defined by the SSO and NCI, and the SSO formulates guidelines for postresidency surgical oncology training.

The American Board of Surgery establishes the Advisory Council for Surgical Oncology. The American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG) is established.

cancer surgeons and general surgeons but rather between surgeons and oncologists. Although the fields of medical oncology and radiation oncology were quickly acknowledged as legitimate subspecialties, the field of surgical oncology had difficulty separating from general surgery. Most well-trained general surgeons felt capable of performing the majority of cancer operations, and so subspecialization was limited to university hospitals that allowed such a focus. In the mid-1960s, the Medical College of Virginia was the first university department of surgery to establish a formal division of surgical oncology under the auspices of Dr. Walter Lawrence. By 1986, 38% of university surgery departments had done the same.11 Despite the territorial conflicts between general surgeons, whose workload continues to be devoted in large part to cancer, and the surgical oncologist, the field continued to emerge as a surgical subspecialty. In 1975, the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) was established from the James Ewing Society, a group of alumni who had trained at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and gathered in New York for both scientific and social purposes. Although not a purely surgical society, it was dominated by surgeons and was established with the premise that its members would continue to be true to the inspiration of Dr. Ewing and his multidisciplinary approach to cancer. In conjunction with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the SSO defined a surgical oncologist as an individual who is a fully qualified general surgeon who has had additional training and experience in all aspects of oncology, is capable of collaborating well with other oncology disciplines, has a full-time commitment to oncology, and serves the important role of leader of his fellow general surgeons in the care of the cancer patient.

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