Tag Archives: tumor

St. Audrey Etheldrida

JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK   Medicine is full of strange tales, some with unforeseen ramifications. I recently discovered that the origins of the useful word “tawdry” surprisingly lay in a tumor of the throat—nature unspecified—of a seventh-century saint. St. Audrey, Etheldrida, or Æþelðryþ, born c. 636 AD, was an English princess generally referred to […]

Terminal digit preference

Marshall Lichtman  Rochester, New York, United States   Figure 1. There are three types of sphygmomanometer; mercury, aneroid, and digital. This figure is of a manual aneroid sphygmomanometer. The rubber pump is used to raise the cuff pressure above the patient’s systolic pressure and then the pressure is released by unscrewing slowly the small valve […]

Canadian contributions to the study of pathology

Guillermo Quinonez Laurette Geldenhuys Nova Scotia, Canada   John George Adami, Head of the Department of Pathology, McGill University, Quebec, Canada, author of The Principles of Pathology. Wikipedia Canadian and American medicine in general, and pathology in particular, have developed in parallel and in synchrony since the nineteenth century. Despite Canada’s limited population, scientific cultural […]

A form of pain

Ifediba Nzube Port Harcourt, Nigeria   Èsù the trickster by Onyeji Prince. For Yewande, pain is Èsù slapping her head like a bata drum. But no one sees that; they see only a tumor pushing out her left eye, up her palate, and through her nostrils. Most days she smells like meat gone green. The […]

The smell of burning rubber: the fatal illness of George Gershwin

James Franklin Chicago, Illinois, USA   George Gershwin, 28 March 1937. Photograph by Carl Van Vetchen. 1937. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs division. On the morning of Monday July 12, 1937, New Yorkers who had just suffered through five days of a heat wave that left thirty-eight people dead, awoke to read on the […]

Unfinished business: end of life care and regrets in the films of Akira Kurosawa

X.M. Griffiths Tuckahoe, NY, USA   Director Akira Kurosawa (center) with actors Takashi and Miki Odagiri on the set of Ikiru (1952). Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library. Death and mortality were recurrent themes in Akira Kurosawa’s works but the director examined the issues most acutely in the films Ikiru (1952) and […]

Uncertainty and clinical truths

Anjan Banerjee Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom   “Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability” (William Osler)   Monday 15:35 pm Franciso Goya. Self-Portrait with Dr. Arrieta, 1820. The ninety-eight year old patient with piercing blue eyes and a quizzical expression sat in her wheelchair in the colorectal clinic. We sat facing each […]

In a scan, darkly

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Every so often I browse through old patient records and before committing them to the shredder I read through the histories they contain. These visits to the past are useful and edifying, allowing a more detached consideration of the events. Has something changed in medical knowledge since then? Do the […]

The thickening of blood

Nod Ghosh Christchurch, New Zealand   It begins when you are a child, in the pre-antibiotic dawn of an Indian summer, one of six siblings, five of whom will eventually die of broken heart valves or diabetes. But let us say for now, you are a child, a child who loves to dance, to play […]

Imaging in medicine: fine art to medical art

Arabella Proffer Cleveland, Ohio, United States     Amputee Venus, 2014 Arabella Proffer Studying anatomy was something I had never taken seriously or practiced much in art school. Frankly, I was mediocre at it. As a result, I developed into a mannerist painter and on occasion distorted anatomy to add an artificial quality. I find this […]