Cancer, origin of the name. Definition

Medical Definition: Cancer, origin of the name

The first thing disconcerting is that the same name a disease and one zodiac sign. Match both the Latin word cancer (genitive Cancri), meaning crab. According to Greek mythology, the constellation Cancer the Crab or in heaven, because that placed Juno. This is the mythical giant crab that Juno sent against Hercules, when he was fighting the hydra of Lerna terrible. The crab got a bite on foot to the hero, but he killed him. As a reward for helping her, Hera placed it in the sky, along with the other zodiac signs. But what is unclear is what has to do the crab with cancer. Latinos the word cancer, and the Greeks, the term karkinov (karkinos = crab), used to define the disease. Dictionaries do not offer more clues about the relationship between cancer and crab. But we can infer that it would form cancerous tumors, with some similarity to the crab, or perhaps rather the cornification of these tumors, which would lead to both Greeks and Romans to put this name to the disease. The Greeks developed an entire lexicon group about cancer: karkinwma (karkinóma) was a term unique to the cancerous tumor called the chancre (formerly referred to the small ulcer with a tendency to spread and corrode the surrounding areas and then especially ulcerations nature or venereal syphilis), or canker (term whose meaning has changed). The verb karkinow (karkinóo) Hippocrates uses it to mean \