Raising awareness about skin cancer prevention is our main priority here at UV Skinz, but during some research we stumbled upon the history of skin cancer.  It’s a pretty good (short) story about how skin cancer was originally diagnosed.

Even though the history of skin cancer hasn’t been well documented, there have been  2400 year old mummies discovered in Peru who appear to have had skin cancer. “ Melanoma was first identified as a disease by French physician, René Laennec who talked about it in a lecture in 1804. It is believed he also gave the disease its name. Laennec findings were published in 1806.”

“The first person to have actually operated on a skin cancer lesion was Scottish anatomist and surgeon John Hunter in 1787. Hunter didn’t know what it was although he said that it looked like a “cancerous fungous excrescence” – translated to “cancerous fungus”. Interestingly, this tissue was so well-preserved, scientists were able to examine it in 1968 and it was confirmed as a melanoma. In 1840, Samuel Cooper reported that melanoma was mostly untreatable during the advanced stage. This is a situation that has remained more or less true today.” 

A more complete overview of Melanoma can be found here.