Mini Review
Volume 3 Issue 1 - 2016
Nature Configured Melanotic Deposits Clearly in the History of Gynaecology
Wilson IB Onuigbo*
Department of Pathology, Medical Foundation and Clinic, Nigeria
*Corresponding Author: Wilson IB Onuigbo, Department of Pathology, Medical Foundation and Clinic, 8 Nsukka Lane, Enugu 40001, Nigeria.
Received: February 10, 2016; Published: April 13, 2016
Citation: Wilson IB Onuigbo. “Nature Configured Melanotic Deposits Clearly in the History of Gynaecology”. EC Gynaecology 3.1 (2016): 243-244.
By 1889, a great German pathologist drew attention to findings at autopsy which, in his view, “are all in a manner experiments instituted by nature”. Therefore, if rightly interpreted, there will be knowledge of “laws of growth”. In this context, the melanoma on account of its pigmentary potentiality should play a leading role in such searches. Consequently, this paper examines some historical data in the important field of gynaecology.
Keywords: Autopsy; Melanoma; Gynaecology; Ovary; History
In 1889, the great German Pathologist, Julius Cohnheim [1], declared that the findings from tumor autopsy “are all in a manner of experiments instituted by nature, which we need only rightly interpret to get a clean idea of the causes, laws of growth, and significance of the tumour”. In particular, according to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary [2], melanoma came into use around 1838 as a pigmented tumor. In this context, a search of the old masters should throw useful light in that field which is the chosen goal of this Journal.
Historical texts
The earliest in my Collection came from Holmes Coote [3], surgeon to the North London Ophthalmic Institution in 1846. As he put it, “There is no longer a doubt but that melanotic swellings are pigment-coloured morbid products of the most varied character, and especially cancerous”. He dealt with animal and human cases. In particular, he wrote:
The ovaries were converted into irregular lobulated masses, about eight inches in length, which retained no trace of natural structure. They consisted of a pale but dense cyst, filled with melanotic structure, of soft consistence but of the deepest dye. The ovaries and a cast of the liver are preserved in the museum of the Royal College of Surgeons.
By 1876, Legg [4] attended a 39-year-old woman whose excised globe was examined with the microscope after hardening in chromic acid. The diagnosis was “a melanotic sarcoma”. At autopsy the findings included the following:
Uterus shows a new growth in the fore wall, the size of a pea. Numerous new growths on peritoneal surface. Both ovaries are the size of walnuts, and are formed of four or five new growths, without fluid contents.
It is of interest that, towards the end of the century, in 1895, Battle [5] combined the report on primary melanoma on the clitoris with secondaries in “bones, heart, viscera, including ovaries”. In the following year, Blumer [6] reported the autopsy of an old lady some 70 years of age. The result was supplied thus.
There were no metastases in the bladder beyond those on the peritoneal surface. In the right ovary was a nodule about the size of a pea.
Elsewhere [7], I have shown that the medical masters of yester years duly recognized that the footsteps of nature could be traced by means of careful autopsy examination. In this series, such historical sketches have been exemplified. Indeed, I am intrigued by the measurements of the highly colored colonies being made not only in inches but also in terms of pea and walnut.
In conclusion, such homely descriptions are reinforced by the occasional museum preservation.
  1. Cohnheim J. “Lectures on general pathology”. Section 1. London: The New Sydenham Society (1889): 14.
  2. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 11th Ed, Merriam-Webster, Inc, Springfield: Mass (2012): 773.
  3. Coote H. “Melanosis, with observations”. Lancet 2 (1846): 142-144.
  4. Legg JW. “Melanotic sarcoma of the eyeball; secondary growths in the organs of the chest and belly, particularly in the liver”. Transactions of the Pathological Society of London 29 (1878): 225-230.
  5. Battle WH. “Primary melanotic sarcoma of clitoris”. Transactions of the Pathological Society of London 46 (1895): 189.
  6. Blumer. “Generalized melanotic sarcoma”. Johns Hopkins Hospital Bulletin 7 (1896): 188-190.
  7. Onuigbo WIB. “The visionary views of medical masters of yester years on Nature’s norms point to present prospects in the target therapy of cancer”. Biology and Medicine 7 (2015): 221.
Copyright: © 2016 Wilson IB Onuigbo. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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