Did Honest Abe have Cancer?

December 5, 2007 by  
Filed under CANCER

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Did Abraham Lincoln have cancer? Dr. John Sotos, a Stanford cardiologist and amateur historian, believes that the famed president may have suffered from a rare genetic disorder called MEN 2B that resulted in small tumors on his lips and intestines.


Sotos analyzed facial portraits of Lincoln for the telltale bumps that may be indicative of this type of cancer and recently presented his results at a talk at Johns Hopkins University.

From The Washington Post:

A physician, connoisseur of rare ailments and amateur historian, Sotos believes Lincoln had a genetic syndrome called MEN 2B. He thinks the diagnosis not only accounts for Lincoln’s great height, which has been the subject of most medical speculation over the years, but also for many of the president’s other reported ailments and behaviors.

He also suspects Lincoln was dying of cancer at the time he was assassinated, and was unlikely to have survived a year. He thinks cancer — an inevitable element of MEN 2B — killed at least one of Lincoln’s four sons, three of whom died before reaching age 20.

It’s amazing how much more we know now when it comes to medical advances. When I was in college less than ten years ago, the prevailing theory about President Lincoln’s towering heights was Marfan’s Syndrome, a connective tissue disease that is often characterized by long limbs. Pretty cool to see what we can come up with now!

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One Response to “Did Honest Abe have Cancer?”
  1. That’s news indeed! Technology and science have come a long way. Now with DNA you can do so many amazing things like catching the unsuspected killers even years after the crimes.

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