Cancer Prevention and Control in India: A perspective from the Cancer Institute (WIA)

Although cancer has doubtless existed in India as long as humans have settled there, its earliest recorded history came from South India, Balram Jaker in 1875 from Trivandrum and Niblock from the Government General Hospital, Madras, in 1902 described oral cancer in relationship to pan chewing. Howard Somerville, a British surgeon, who came to India in the 1920s after participating in two expeditions to climb Mount Everest worked for 40 years in mission hospitals in India, including Neyoor and noted the association of tobacco chewing and oral cancers.

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