Engraving of Percival Pott, British surgeon

Engraving of Percival Pott, British surgeon

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Percival Pott. Portrait of Percival Pott (1714- 88), British surgeon and epidemiologist. In 1775 he noticed that chimney sweeps, who often worked naked, were susceptible to cancer of the scrotum. He linked this with their exposure to soot in the chimneys. This was the first time that cancer was linked with a particular substance and occupation. Pott also described a leg injury, Pott's fracture, which he himself suffered. The fracture consists of broken lower leg bones and a dislocated foot which is pushed backwards and outwards. Pott's disease, a deformation of the spine due to an infection of tuberculosis, is also named after him.

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Keywords: cancer, coal dust, effect, epidemiologist, leg fracture, percival, pioneer, portraits, pott, scrotum, spinal, surgeon, surname p, tuberculosis

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