Ophthalmic malignancies in antiquity as depicted in two terracotta figurines
Ocular and orbital wall cancers were recognized by the physicians of the antiquity as incurable, lethal, and non-operable malignant entities. Paul of Aegina (7thc AD) was the first to refer to this type of cancer and proposed only some palliative measures, while the same approach was also preserved by Theophanes Nonnus (10thc AD). However, two terracotta figurines of the Hellenistic period (323-30 BC) which depicted tumorous malformations in the eye area, raise a scientific debate on the matter. Hellenic art, once more contributed in a didactic way to preserve medical knowledge of the past, and served as an auxiliary tool in order to facilitate medical study.