Babe Ruth-

has been called the greatest baseball player to ever live. Often known as the "Great Bambino". He was born on February 6, 1895 as George Herman Ruth Jr. and later became Babe Ruth. In 1920, Ruth was sold to the New York Yankees for $100,000. He led the Yankees to seven American League championships and four World Series titles. Ruth set a record of 714 home runs in a lifetime until broken by Hank Aaron with 755 home runs. After retiring from baseball Ruth lived a nice life playing golf, going bowling, and hunting until November 1946 he was diagnosed with cancer above his eye. He had surgery but not all of it was removed, it soon grew back and killed him resulting in his death on August 16, 1948 at age 53.

During the summer of 1946, Babe Ruth had severe pain over his left eye. The entire left side of his face was swollen, his left eye was closed, and eating solid foods was something Ruth could not do. It was finally discovered that a tumor had formed around the major artery in the left side of his neck. It originated in a part of the air passage behind the nose. Even with surgery, not all of the cancer could be removed.


NPC (Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma) is a rare tumor that comes from the nasopharnyx. It mostly uncommon in the United States but is the leading-cancer in other regions such as Southern China, Southeast Asia, the Artic, North Africa, and the Middle East. The estimated number of deaths due to NPC internationally exceeds 50,000, which makes it the 23rd most common cancer in the world. More common in men than women, NPC diagnosis peaks between ages of 50 and 59 years old.


Treatments include: radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, and Biologic therapy. In Babe's case, surgery was the type of treatment necessary. Because of the spot of the carcinoma, only part of the infected cells were removed from Babe's neck. As the remaining piece of the tumor continued to grow, more morphine was given to Ruth to relieve the pain. Eating regular foods became quite difficult and the pain was unbearable. Doctors gave him an experimental drug that began in late June and improved Ruth's health a great deal. Even after gaining most of his weight back, the pain returned again that fall.

Hopes for patients with Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

The outlook for patients diagnosed with this disease depends largely on the extent of the disease

and the time of the diagnosis. Those who caught the cancer in it's beginning stages have a 70-80 percent c
hance of survival. With advancement of the disease, the statistics fall. Patients with stage 4 cancer have a 0-20 percent chance of survival. Organizations to assist those diagnosed with this type of cancer include, support for people with oral and head and neck c
ancer (SPOHNC) and the (ECOG) the easter clinical oncology group.



The two main risk factors of nasopharyngeal carcinoma are tobacco and alcohol use. It has been known that Babe Ruth was both avid drinker and smoker. These two risk factors alone could have been the direct cause of the malignant tumor that formed in his lymph notes. It is very possible that his bad habits in his life contributed to his death. Since Babe had no ancestry in Asia, or the Middle East, this leads us to believe that these risk factors were indeed the cause of his cancer. When doctors concluded that a malignant tumor was emerging in Babe's throat, immediate surgery was done. Nerves were cut and the artery tied off. It was determined that this particular disease originated in the naso-pharynx. Due to the sensitive position of the cancer, not all damaged cells were removed. This excess cancer eventually led to another tumor in Babe's throat, and this time morphine was necessary to ease the pain. Treatment with an experimental drug improved Babe's condition tremendously. He soon gained his weight back and began to travel again, doing advertisements for Ford Motors. Unfortunately, on August 15, 1948 Babe Ruth's body just couldn't handle the disease anymore and he died in his sleep. There has been no organizations founded proceeding the death of Babe Ruth, but his legacy will live on forever.