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Who Discovered Brain Cancer?

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It’s not that hard to answer the question of who discovered brain cancer – this breakthrough is credited to Gupta Longati, a Russian scientist, who discovered the disease in 1873.

Brain cancer and brain tumorBefore the discovery of brain cancer, doctors were treating brain tumors, which are harmless, the same way as they would with brain cancer, which is wrong.

Before the discovery

Before brain cancer was identified, scientists just regarded them as tumors just like any other swollen lumps that could develop in different parts of the body. There were no special distinguishing factors that scientists looked for in order to differentiate brain cancer from the rest of these tumors.

The discovery was important

The discovery by Gupta Longati was a very significant one in the world of medicine since brain tumors and brain cancer does need to be treated very differently. There is a good possibility that a tumor can be benign and would never worsen over time; hence the medical risks are not that severe. Brain cancer on the other hand, involves tumors that are cancerous and that can spread to surrounding tissues and organs, infecting them and increasing the damage.

A different approach was needed

Prior to Gupta’s discovery, both benign and malignant tumors were treated by doctors in exactly same way. Although no cure for brain cancer has yet been developed to date, we now know that dealing with these two kinds of tumors require different procedures and treatments.

How the discovery was made?

The circumstances of how the first brain cancer case was discovered are not very clear though many accounts say that it was when Longati was investigating the brain of a person who had died of a brain tumor. He is said to have found out that the tumors were not ordinary tumors and were actually malignant growths that were gradually spreading in the person’s brain.

About brain cancer

Today, it is estimated that more than 13,000 people die of malignant brain tumors each year, and this is just in the United States alone. But the world of medicine has come a long way since the first brain cancer case was discovered. Now, there are several methods that can be used to diagnose the illness and to prevent it from spreading or getting worse.

What is the cause?

No definite causes of the illness have yet been discovered but there are many speculations. There has even been talk about cellphone causing brain cancer because of the radiations that these devices produce, especially when held so close next to the head. But it turns out that the public was scared for nothing because this has never been proven to be true.

Brain cancer statistics

However, what scientists have found out about brain cancer is that there are certain individuals that are more likely to suffer from it than others. For instance, historical data show that males are more prone to brain cancer than females. White people are also more likely to suffer from the disease than other races, and the same is true for older individuals.

High risk people

Jobs or professions that involve frequent exposure to certain types of chemicals can also increase one’s likelihood of developing cancerous cells in the brain. Some of those people that have a higher risk of brain cancer are those that work in a nuclear facility, embalmers who regularly get into contact with formaldehyde, and workers in plastic and textile factories, where the risk of exposure to acrylonitrile is quite high.

More on brain: Facts about the human brain and facts about cancer.