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Observations by missionary doctors 100 years ago offer clues to fighting cancer and other diseases

Nobel prize winning physician and theologian Albert Schweitzer worked at the missionary hospital he founded for more than 40 years

Albert Schweitzer treating patient

before he saw his first case of appendicitis among the African natives. Cancer was completely unknown when he first reached the interior lowlands of West Africa in 1913.

“On my arrival in Gabon, I was astonished to encounter no cases of cancer,” Schweitzer noted. “I can not, of course, say positively that there was no cancer at all, but, like other frontier doctors, I can only say that if any cases existed they must have been quite rare.”
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