Skip to main content

From dinosaurs to DNA: a history of colorectal cancer


The roots of colorectal cancer date back to antiquity. In this short history of colorectal cancer we trace its clinical and research origins from ancient times through the dark ages, middle ages, to the scientific and medical advances of the seventeenth to twentieth centuries and into the twenty-first century.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Author information



Additional information

Electronic Publication

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mulcahy, H.E., Hyland, J. & O'Donoghue, D.P. From dinosaurs to DNA: a history of colorectal cancer. Int J Colorectal Dis 18, 210–215 (2003).

Download citation

  • Colorectal cancer Hippocrates History of medicine Paradigms in medicine Theory of humours