- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Pott's cancer

Related people

Coal tar-induced cancer of the skin particularly localized to the scrotum. Pott established that the cause of this form of cancer was "a lodgement of soot in the rugae of the scrotum" – it was due to the soot ingrained into their skin by prolonged exposure to flue dusts. This was probably the first suggestion of the association of "substances" in the environment with the development of cancer in a particular occupational group. Although the conditions is sometimes called Pott's cancer, the term coined by himself, chimney-sweepers cancer, has replaced a justified eponym.


  • P. Pott:
    Chirurgical Observations Relative to the Cataract, the Polypus of the Nose, the Cancer of the Scrotum, the Different Kinds of Ruptures, and the Mortification of the Toes and Feet.
    London, 1775. German translation, Berlin, 1776.

What is an eponym?

An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

What is Whonamedit?

Whonamedit.com is a biographical dictionary of medical eponyms. It is our ambition to present a complete survey of all medical phenomena named for a person, with a biography of that person.


Whonamedit? does not give medical advice.
This survey of medical eponyms and the persons behind them is meant as a general interest site only. No information found here must under any circumstances be used for medical purposes, diagnostically, therapeutically or otherwise. If you, or anybody close to you, is affected, or believe to be affected, by any condition mentioned here: see a doctor.