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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2004 December;95(6):557-61

language: English

Colorectal carcinoma that afllicted king Jehoram

Ben-Noun Liubov (Louba)


This research uses the tools of modern medical science to examine the ancient descriptions of the symptoms suffered by King Jehoram who was affected by some disease. The Biblical texts were examined, and passages relating to the disease that afflicted King Jehoram, who ruled in Jerusalem 843-851 B.C., were closely studied. We have not included any commentaries, but referred only to the words of the Bible exactly as written. The Passages ''...the Lord smote him in his bowels with an incurable diseaseŠ in the process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseasesŠ'' indicate that the King suffered from some kind of disease which affected his bowels. Among the various diseases which may be associated with prolapse of the bowel, colorectal carcinoma is the most acceptable. It seems that the colorectal carcinoma was poorly differentiated, invaded perirectal adipose tissue, blood vessels, and/or lymphatic vessels, and/or perineural areas, was lymph node positive and reached the 4th stage with the spread of metastases to the distal organs. Viewed by a modern physician, the story of King Jehoram unfolds as possibly the earliest description of a patient afflicted by colorectal carcinoma.

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