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Denis Burkitt, British surgeon

Denis Burkitt, British surgeon

H402/0467

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Credit

NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Denis Burkitt (1911-1993), British surgeon. Burkitt studied medicine at Trinity College, Dublin, before serving as a surgeon in the Royal Army Medical Corps during World War Two. After the war Burkitt was posted to Uganda where he oversaw the country's healthcare system. While there he noticed a number of young people with aggressive tumours of the lymphatic system, most often around the jaw. This cancer, which is found throughout tropical Africa and is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, is called Burkitt's lymphoma. Burkitt was also one of the first to realise the importance of fibre in the diet and the protection it gives against intestinal diseases.

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