SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
X-ray radiotherapy for breast cancer (1903). Historical photograph of a woman on a recliner chair receiving early radiotherapy for cancer of the breast. The date is 1903. The anticancer X-ray treatment provided was known as Roentgen therapy. A movable electric discharge tube is seen aimed at the site of malignancy, possibly following surgery on the breast. An elongated glass cylinder is probably an attempt to limit the X-ray beam. However, unless it was made of lead glass, which is not known, it would have been unsuccessful. Although there was some success in treating cancer by this method, there was ignorance of the dangers involved in overdosing on X-ray radiation.
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