By Attia, A.; Buisson. G. (ed.)
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Extra resources for Advances in Mesopotamian Medicine from Hammurabi to Hippocrates
For some, such a change took place only when the tumour greatly increased in volume, became painful, and developed multiple blood vessels that nourished it. For others, it took place earlier, before the appearance of unmistakable symptoms of an advanced tumour. 7 Gynaecologists were aware of the fact that sometimes a fully ﬂedged cancerous growth seemed to appear from nowhere. In the majority of the cases they thought that early warning signs nevertheless made an efﬁcient intervention possible.
Hysteria was related to ‘engorgement of the uterus’ and the tenderness of the uterine cervix, and doctors sometimes applied corrosive substances to the uterus to cure women’s ‘nervous conditions’. The use of strong caustics in the absence of the physical manifestations of disease was probably rare. Corrosive substances were, however, often applied as a therapy for visible lesions of the cervix, especially those suspected to be cancerous. In order to eliminate diseased tissues, physicians employed arsenical paste, hydrate of potassium, nitrate of silver, nitrate of mercury, nitrate of creosote, and potash.
Writing in 1836, a period of political and social unrest in France, he explained that, one often prevents a development which may lead to the dissolution of the social body through an efﬁcient repression of its ﬁrst movements. 9 Local remedies: corrosive substances, hot iron, and sharp instruments In the nineteenth century doctors proposed multiple treatments of cervical lesions and uterine tumours. Some treatments were relatively innocuous. Joseph Récamier favoured the therapy already used by Ambroise Paré and Herman Boerhaave: a direct application of fruit extracts such as rose petal syrup.