Percival Pott (January 6, 1714 – December 22, 1788, London, England) was an English surgeon, one of the founders of orthopedy, and the first scientists to demonstrate that a cancer may be caused by an environmental carcinogen.
He served his apprenticeship with Edward Nourse, assistant surgeon to St Bartholomew's Hospital, and in 1736 was admitted to the Barbers' Company and licensed to practice. He became assistant surgeon to St Bartholomew's in 1744 and full surgeon from 1749 till 1787.
As the first surgeon of his day in England, excelling even his pupil, John Hunter, on the practical side, Pott introduced various important innovations in procedure, doing much to abolish the extensive use of escharotics and the cautery that was prevalent when he began his career.
1775, Pott found an association between exposure to soot and a high incidence of scrotal cancers in chimney sweeps (termed "soot wart"). This was the first occupational link to cancer, and Pott was the first person to demonstrate that a malignancy could be caused by an environmental carcinogen. Pott's early investigations contributed to the science of epidemiology.
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