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Who Discovered Lung Cancer?

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As lung cancer was rather a rare disease before the availability of cigarettes, it was not identified as a disease until mid 1700. In 1761, it was identified as a distinct disease and various characteristics of lung cancer were identified in 1810. Autopsies performed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries showed minor connection between lung tumors and lung cancers.

The first physician to say smoking is bad

However, the link between lung cancer and smoking was yet to be discovered. In 1929, Fritz Lickint, a German physician first recognized the potential connection between the two. This discovery led to a nationwide anti-tobacco movement in then Nazi Germany. These discoveries were primarily based on statistical data and the number of cancer cases among smokers.

Austin Bradford Hill and Sir Richard DollAustin Bradford Hill & Sir Richard Doll were part of the team that provided concrete evidence linking smoking and lung cancer.

British Doctors Study provided a rock solid evidence

It was the researchers from England who published in the British Doctors Study in the 1950s that provided credible proof, epidemiological evidence and statistics to link smoking with lung cancer. With lung cancer, they also showed the possibilities of other diseases such as respiratory disease, myocardial infarction, and other smoking-related illnesses. The discovery of lung cancer is largely credited to the works by the British Doctors Study for this reason.

Recognition that smoking causes lung cancer

The original research was run by Austin Bradford Hill and Richard Doll. Austin Bradford Hill was a British statistician and epidemiologists and Richard Doll was a British physiologist and epidemiologists. Sir Richard Peto, another specialist and a professor at the University of Oxford later joined the research. Together, they run random tests, analyzed the outcomes, prepared all the reports and published the subsequent studies. Because of this research, the Surgeon General of the United States recognized smoking as the cause of lung cancer in 1964 and started to advice against it.

More on lung cancer: Facts about lung cancer.