Weinberg begins the story of how tumors occur from the first cell with the story of Percival Pott who studied scrotal cancer
in chimney sweeps in England in 1775.
For example, in the 18th century, Sir Percival Pott stopped an epidemic of scrotal cancer
in chimney sweeps by asking them to improve their genital hygiene (Pott 1775), while knowing little about the cause, biology or mechanism of this disease.
About 230 years ago, the English surgeon Percivall Pott noted a higher frequency of scrotal cancer
among chimney sweeps, and concluded that there was something carcinogenic in soot.
One scrotal cancer
is recorded at a mind-boggling seven feet in circumference and two feet round its neck.
The ability of certain PAH compounds and PAH mixtures to induce cancers has been the subject of research since the original observation by Pott of increased scrotal cancer
incidence among chimney sweeps in 1775, and the first induction of skin tumours in rabbits by dermal application of coal tar for 150 days.
A mortality analysis of workers in many occupations indicated an increased risk of scrotal cancer
for creosote-exposed brickmakers (18,34-38).
Approximately 10,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, 2160 women are diagnosed with vaginal, 2000 women are diagnosed with vulvar, 1400 men are diagnosed with anal, 1100 men are diagnosed with penile, and 500 men are diagnosed with scrotal cancers
They are also a recognised cause of occupational skin and scrotal cancers
While in an advice centre he found leaflets linking the oils with skin and scrotal cancers
Settlements have been made in the past for former Rover workers who suffered scrotal cancers
believed to have been caused by carcinogenic oils used in heavy manufacturing until the 1970s.
In 18th century England, the high incidence of scrotal cancers
noted among chimney sweeps led the enactment of protective regulations requiring these workers to bathe.
Sir Percival Potts observed an apparent association between scrotal cancers
and tar and soot exposures among chimney sweeps in London in 1775 (Harrison 2004).