Through the Lens of Oncology History

Vertical Roentgenography: Patient of James T. Case, MD

 / November 25, 2017

This image of fluoroscopy documents modern cancer diagnostic possibilities. It is in startling contrast to the photograph of fluoroscopy taken a decade earlier. Published by James T. Case, MD, in 1914 to illustrate his book Stereoroentgenography of the Alimentary Tract, it presents the advances in...

Epithelioma Tubule De Nez, Albumen Print Paris, 1872

The ASCO Post  / October 10, 2017

The text and photograph on this page are excerpted from a four-volume series of books titled Oncology Tumors & Treatment: A Photographic History, by Stanley B. Burns, MD, FACS, and Elizabeth A. Burns. The photo below is from the volume titled “The Anesthesia Era: 1845–1875.” The photograph appea...

Fever Therapy for Cancer

The ASCO Post  / September 10, 2017

Fever therapy became firmly established as a significant therapeutic modality during the first decades of the 20th century. Physicians in this era believed the heat of a fever assisted in the control of numerous infections by killing the infective organism as it traveled through the bloodstream. V...

The X-Ray Era 1901–1915

The ASCO Post  / August 10, 2017

The text and photograph on this page are excerpted from a four-volume series of books titled Oncology Tumors & Treatment: A Photographic History, by Stanley B. Burns, MD, FACS, and Elizabeth A. Burns. The photo below is from the volume titled “The X-Ray Era: 1901–1915.” The photograph appears co...

Pigmented Vascular Tumor

Jo Cavallo  / April 25, 2017

Nevus Vasculaire Albumen Print, Paris, 1869 Published in 1869, Revue Photographique des Hôpitaux de Paris was the world’s first medical journal to contain real photographs. In the seven issues produced between 1869 and 1875, 245 images were used. Dr. A. de Montméja, a Parisian ophthalmologist and...

Esophagoscopy by the High-Low Method

Chevalier Jackson, MD  / January 25, 2017

Endoscopic examination of the intestinal tract remains a prime diagnostic tool for positive identification of cancers. Endoscopic instruments also aid in the retrieval of tissue for biopsy, providing a more accurate diagnosis and help in the staging of tumors. This is a photograph of the pioneer b...

Drainage of Massive Ascites: Patient of Nicholas Senn, MD

The ASCO Post  / November 25, 2016

Prior to the 20th century, there were very few specific therapies for disease. Many diseases, especially cancers and infections, resulted in accumulations of fluid or pus in body cavities. Physicians had to become masters of the trocar, needle, and catheter. They learned to artfully remove fluid f...

Resuscitation During Surgery

The ASCO Post  / November 10, 2016

During the 1890s, aseptic principles were extended only to the operative area of the patient, not the surgeon, although some surgeons did advocate the use of special white or colored uniforms, and hand washing had already been established. In 1895, just 7 years after Arpad Gerster, MD, published h...

Face Mask for Radiation Therapy

The ASCO Post  / October 25, 2016

By the 1930s, the dangers of radiation were well known. American Martyr’s to Science Through the Roentgen Rays, published in 1936, documented the dead heroes of American radiology, from Clarence Daly, Thomas Edison’s associate, to Elizabeth Fleischman, the only woman in the group, who was a U.S. A...

The Anesthesia Era 1845–1875 Carte de Visite, London, circa 1858

The ASCO Post  / September 25, 2016

For over 2,500 years, bloodletting was the backbone of medical therapy. To date, it is the longest-running therapeutic tradition known. First practiced in ancient Egypt, its use spread throughout Western civilization. The therapy was still performed in Southern rural America until the 1910s. One t...

Stereo X-Ray of Stomach Cancer

The ASCO Post  / July 10, 2016

A few months after William Roentgen’s first publications, x-rays were being produced as stereoroentgenograms. Doctors Emil Beck, James MacKenzie, Charles Leonard, Hildebrand, Walsham, and others used stereoroentgenography during the first decade of the 20th century to study the lungs, heart, and u...

Issues in Oncology

Dr. William Morton and His Engineer

The ASCO Post  / June 10, 2016

A Century of Progress The text and photograph on this page are excerpted from a four-volume series of books titled Oncology Tumors & Treatment: A Photographic History, by Stanley B. Burns, MD, FACS. The photo below is from the volume titled “The Antiseptic Era: 1876–1900.” To view additional ph...

A Century of Progress: The Antiseptic Era: 1876–1890 (Circa 1890)

The ASCO Post  / March 25, 2016

Fascination with electricity reached its peak in the last decades of the 19th century. Thomas Edison’s invention in 1879 of a practical light bulb set the stage for thousands of new devices. When Edison and Westinghouse created direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) delivery plants, elec...

Breast Cancer

Mastectomy Healed by Earth Dressing

The ASCO Post  / January 25, 2016

Through the Lens of Oncology History A Century of Progress The text and photographs on this page are excerpted from a four-volume series of books titled Oncology Tumors & Treatment: A Photographic History, by Stanley B. Burns, MD, FACS. The photos below are from the volume titled “The Anesthes...

Parotid Tumor Excision, Albumen Print, Paris, February 1872

The ASCO Post  / December 10, 2015

A Century of Progress The text and photographs on this page are excerpted from a four-volume series of books titled Oncology Tumors & Treatment: A Photographic History, by Stanley B. Burns, MD, FACS. The photos below are from the volume titled “The Anesthesia Era 1845-1875.” To view additional ...

‘Modern’ Surgical Scene, Circa 1945

The ASCO Post  / October 10, 2015

A Century of Progress The text and photographs on this page are excerpted from a four-volume series of books titled Oncology Tumors & Treatment: A Photographic History, by Stanley B. Burns, MD, FACS. The photos below are from the volume titled “The Anesthesia Era: 1916–1945.” To view additional...

Hypertrophic Tumor of the Forehead, Philadelphia, Circa 1870

The ASCO Post  / September 10, 2015

Through the Lens of Oncology History: A Century of Progress The text and photographs on this page are excerpted from a four-volume series of books titled Oncology Tumors & Treatment: A Photographic History, by Stanley B. Burns, MD, FACS. The photos below are from the volume titled “The Anesthes...

‘Frozen Sleep’ as Cancer Treatment, Springfield, Illinois, 1939

The ASCO Post  / June 25, 2015

Through the Lens of Oncology History: A Century of Progress The text and photographs on this page are excerpted from a four-volume series of books titled Oncology Tumors & Treatment: A Photographic History, by Stanley B. Burns, MD, FACS. The photo below is from the volume titled “The Radium Era...

Sarcoma of the Arm, Circa 1874

The ASCO Post  / May 25, 2015

The text and photographs on this page are excerpted from a four-volume series of books titled Oncology Tumors & Treatment: A Photographic History, by Stanley B. Burns, MD, FACS. The photos below are from the volume titled “The Anesthesia Era: 1845–1875.” To view additional photos from this serie...

Breast Cancer

Man With Tumor of the Breast, Albumen Print, Paris, 1873

The ASCO Post  / January 25, 2015

Through the Lens of Oncology History A Century of Progress The text and photographs on these pages represent the establishment of oncology as a viable medical specialty during the mid-1800s. The images and captions are excerpted from a four-volume series of books titled Oncology Tumors & Treat...

Gynecologic Cancers

Electro-Gynecology, Philadelphia, 1883

The ASCO Post  / January 25, 2015

Through the Lens of Oncology History A Century of Progress The text and photographs on these pages represent the establishment of oncology as a viable medical specialty during the mid-1800s. The images and captions are excerpted from a four-volume series of books titled Oncology Tumors & Treat...

Gynecologic Cancers

Woman With Ovarian Tumor, Daguerreotype, Wellington, Ohio, June 1851

The ASCO Post  / October 15, 2014

In June 1851, Philip J. Bruckner, MD, hired a daguerreotypist to photograph this 275-pound, 33-year-old woman, who had borne five children while developing this massive tumor. Dr. Bruckner learned of this patient when Charles Breech, MD, of Wellington, Ohio, presented her case at a medical meeting. ...

Breast Cancer

First Photographs of Breast Surgery, New York City, 1886

The ASCO Post  / October 15, 2014

Antiseptic principles delivered the promise of safe surgery, while asepsis allowed safe major dissections and invasion of body cavities. The physicians who were using these techniques recognized the amazing difference in their surgical results and corresponding mortality rates and proselytized to th...

Lymphoma

Lympho-Sarcoma Treated by Radiation, Patient of Francis H. Williams, MD, Boston, 1902

The ASCO Post  / October 15, 2014

One of the miracles produced by the x-ray was the relatively easy treatment of inoperable or disfiguring tumors. If not a cure, the results frequently gave the patients at least some time to look and feel normal. The young patient shown in these photographs had a remarkable response. Images such as ...

Solid Tumors

Sluys-Kessler Radium Apparatus, Paris, 1930

The ASCO Post  / October 15, 2014

Devices to accurately deliver high-dose radium therapy became extremely sophisticated during the late 1920s. In this photograph, the patient is being treated for a carcinoma of the back by a Sluys-Kessler machine. This apparatus could also accurately deliver therapy for a wide variety of internal tu...

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