John Hunter's Two-Century-Old Diagnosis Confirmed By Doctors?

By Henry Tyler, Parent Herald December 27, 08:11 am

In 1786, a surgeon diagnosed a patient who had tumors as hard as a bone. This surgeon, John Hunter, was highly responsible for the progress in medical science and even had a museum named after him -
the Hunterian.

This museum is located in the Royal College of Surgeons in London and holds all of Hunter's medical collection. The collection includes everything from his research to his notes. According to BBC News, his notes describe the case of the bone-hard tumors. A man with the name St. George was brought in, who had these increasing tumors surrounding the lower part of his thigh bone.

John Hunter operated him and surgically removed the tumors after which the patient survived for only 7 weeks. When an autopsy was conducted, it was discovered that the tumor had spread to his lungs, ribs and even the heart.

Two hundred years later, Royal Marsden Hospital doctors analyzed the samples and notes of St. George's case. These doctors, specifically Dr. Christina Messiou, stated that it was just a kind of fun exploration. But later on, this became a very captivating insight. According to them, these samples may help them study about the variation in cancer over time.

The specimens initially provided the doctors with the diagnosis of osteosarcoma. They said that what was discovered years ago fits with the behavior of the disease in the present time. Through modern-day technology, the century-old diagnosis has now been confirmed by Royal Marsden Hospital doctors.

Dr. Messiou complimented John Hunter over his impressive knowledge and management of the patient, which is similar to the treatment process followed nowadays. However, as Ghana Guardian explained, the research process doesn't just end here.

Meanwhile, they will use Hunter's samples of tumors to find differences in historical and current cancers to study the evolution of the diseases. There is no certainty to what they will find but it is surely very exciting and interesting. 

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