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Monday, 3 November 2014

In addition to support of quinine's use for malaria; this father of occupational diseases had observations on breast cancer too!!!!

Bernardino Ramazzini (3 November 1633 – 5 November 1714) was an Italian physician. Ramazzini was an early proponent of the use of cinchona bark in the treatment of Malaria. His most important contribution to medicine was his book on occupational diseases, De Morbis Artificum Diatriba ("Diseases of Workers"). He studied medicine at the University of Parma, where his interest in occupational diseases began. He is often called "the father of occupational medicine". He proposed that physicians should extend the list of questions that Hippocrates recommended they ask their patients by adding, "What is your occupation?" 

In regards to malaria, Ramazzini was one of the first to support the use of the quinine-rich bark cinchona. Many falsely claimed that quinine was toxic and ineffective, but Ramazzini recognized its importance. He quoted, "It (quinine) did for medicine what gun powder did for war." Bernardino Ramazzini said that nuns developed breast cancer at a higher rate than married women because they did not engage in sexual intercourse, and the "unnatural" lack of sexual activity caused instability of the breast tissues that sometimes developed into breast cancer. In a lifestyle article "Sitting can lead to an early death," the writer acknowledged Ramazzini's pioneering study of this field in the 17th century.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by parasitic protozoans (a type of single cell microorganism) of the Plasmodium type. Breast cancer is the development of cancer from breast tissue. Signs of breast cancer may include a lump in the breast, a change in breast shape, dimpling of the skin, fluid coming from the nipple, or a red scaly patch of skin. Read more...