Rare Photos of Cancer Patients from the 1800s

Surgeons Were Unable to Operate on This Man, He Was Asphyxiated by Tumors in 1875

Rare Photos of Cancer Patients from the 1800s

Cancer is without doubt one of the most frightening diseases. About 600,000 people die from cancer each year in the USA alone, with 7.6 million losing their life to the disease annually worldwide. Global cancer toll is high, but it’s still not what it could be had medical research not progressed the way it did. As can be seen from these rare, black and white antique photos from the 19th century, doctors were familiar with cancer for centuries and for centuries they tried to find the way to cure the patients suffering from the disease. Obviously, while there’s been some significant progress, we still have a long way to go before cancer stops being of major concern.

It is interesting to realize that some of the pictures are of operations on patients without anesthesia. Until the introduction of sulfuric ether, patients were left to endure the pain of having the surgeons tools rip through their flesh fully conscious. Surgeons’ reputations usually depended upon how fast they could perform necessary operations. The best ones could allegedly amputate an arm in one minute, and a leg in three.

All photos were taken by New York ophthalmologist Dr. Stanley B. Burns throughout the mid to late 1800s. It’s a nice collection of rare photos – some of the first of its kind – of cancer patients around the world. It’s also a nice collection to complement the Early Medical Photography post. Big props to Phil for hooking me up with these pics:

Author: Vincit Omnia Veritas

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9 thoughts on “Rare Photos of Cancer Patients from the 1800s”

  1. Freak show lookin shit,They even Pulled out Teeth Without numbing it back then,quite possible that the patient took some heavy belts of some whiskey,before that procedure.I had the worst tooth ache (many yrs ago)one night,ever notice that whatever you have pains for,It allways gets worse at night,I couldnt take the pain so I took out a plyer and proceeded to Yank That tooth out! The pain from the pliar was not worse the pain I was having anyway,so I struggled with it,couldnt get a real yank grip,thats why dentists have special things for the job,so all of a sudden I yanked out what i thought was the tooth,BUT to my unfortunate surprise,It was only the exposed top section of the tooth! Now I fucked it up for sure!,Because a dentist or any other method they use was useless! he asked me how did this happen? so I told him I tried to pull it out with pliars,After he heatd my story,he must have thought I was Pshyco and didnt talk to me anymore,so back to the story,He Had to bust In to my gums to be able to grip it out,Blood Suddenly squirted out,All over the nurse,and i needed 3 stiches for it,sorry for my story being too long,Thanks.

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