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Friday, August 17, 2012

Hockey, Cancer, and the Chaos of Desperation

Leo Tolstoy 1848
Leo Tolstoy 1848 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by Ross Bonander

Excerpt:

"Cancer. Cancer is the Word.


In 1886 Leo Tolstoy's novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich was published. To make a short story even shorter, Ivan is a carefree guy until he gets sick. Nobody can or will say what illness he has, but it's clear he's dying. Of the many interpretations of the book's meaning, I find Susan Sontag's to be most compelling: that he has the one disease that has traditionally been such a scourge on humankind that saying the word itself in some cultures is taboo: Ivan has cancer.
Because of the inability or unwillingness of anyone to confront the disease, Ivan dies.
That was a fictional story from 1886.
Here's a real one from 11 August 2012: it is not uncommon for women in the Vietnamese community to die from untreated cancers because of the many taboo associations with the disease. [Loury, Erin. "In Vietnamese community, treating taboos on cancer." Los Angeles Times. ]"

Read full article here.

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Pharmacy History

"The earliest known compilation of medicinal substances was ARIANA the Sushruta Samhita, an Indian Ayurvedic treatise attributed to Sushruta in the 6th century BC. However, the earliest text as preserved dates to the 3rd or 4th century AD.
Many Sumerian (late 6th millennium BC - early 2nd millennium BC) cuneiform clay tablets record prescriptions for medicine.[3]

Ancient Egyptian pharmacological knowledge was recorded in various papyri such as the Ebers Papyrus of 1550 BC, and the Edwin Smith Papyrus of the 16th century BC.

The earliest known Chinese manual on materia medica is the Shennong Bencao Jing (The Divine Farmer's Herb-Root Classic), dating back to the 1st century AD. It was compiled during the Han dynasty and was attributed to the mythical Shennong. Earlier literature included lists of prescriptions for specific ailments, exemplified by a manuscript "Recipes for 52 Ailments", found in the Mawangdui tomb, sealed in 168 BC. Further details on Chinese pharmacy can be found in the Pharmacy in China article."

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharmacy#History_of_pharmacy

Journal of Palliative Medicine - Table of Contents

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