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Author Topic: Kelancey's AoA--Afflictions of the Sanguine, Tumors  (Read 6163 times)
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Kelancey the Green
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« on: 13 June 2012, 18:07:18 »

TUMORS
Overview
Tumors are malign growths, outcroppings from components of the body.  Like a parasite, a tumor leeches nutrients from the body until the afflicted component withers and dies.  A victim of a tumor often succumbs to the withering effect soon after the site of origin fails.  Mystery and superstition enshroud the origin and causes of tumors from philosophical study, such that how tumors affect each race differently are not fully understood by the healing community.

In Gnomic, the term toumuor is used, stemming from "toum" for swelling plus "muor" for illness.  This has been abbreviated in Tharian to tumor.  In Styrash, the word galnós for stone is used for the Tharian word tumor.  Gnome doctors may also use the more traditional term svulnaf, plural svulnafi, meaning swelling, to describe a tumor.  Dwarves tend to follow the Gnomic convention of referring to svulnafi.  Hobbits seem to be less affected by tumors, or else our knowledge is deficient in these people.  Finally, in Kh'omchr'om, the compound word tlor ph'ragh describes a "blood stone", commonly understood by Orcs to mean a tumor.

Symptoms and Effects
The effects of a tumor depend on the site of origin.  Often, it is only after death that we find a victim to have lost their life to a tumor; in these cases, we may posthumously attribute a person's ailments to the tumor.  For example, a tumor on the brain may present with paroxysms of bizarre behavior or violent thrashing spells.  Tumors of the lungs can mimic chokes in their suffocating cough accompanied by ensanguined sputum.  A tumor on the breasts initially presents as a hard nodule or multiple linear cicatrices which pit the overlying skin; these also produce bloody issuance in late stages.  Tumors of the stomach produce a sensation of fullness, gnawing ache in the belly, loss of appetite, and late in the course lead to frank hemorrhage and exsanguination.  Other tumors present in various other ways, a topic meritous of further inquiry.

Incidence, Causes
We of the philosophical and medical community have not yet established who shall be afflicted with tumors in their lifetime.   One prevailing theory holds that tumors are the result of overuse of a part of the body; thus, one who spends long hours thinking may develop a brain tumor, or one who eats to excess may develop a stomach or liver tumor.  Another theory posits that brewed spirits--beer, mead, and so on--cause detriment to the body as a whole, while distilled spirits--brandy, for example--recompose the body.  This author subscribes to the theory that wholesome diet and regular exercise ward off whatever ill spirit causes tumors, and hence tumors result from poor diet, lack of exercise, and lack of sun exposure.

Diagnosis
Testing is variable in yield; often, tumors are a diagnosis of exclusion, after ruling out more evident causes of illness.  We are most fortunate if the tumor is visible upon the skin or other surface of the body; in this instance, we may proceed directly to excising a part or the whole tumor, and then study the improvement or deterioration of the affected person's health.  Analysis of the blood may show a dispirited sanguine constituent, thin and weak in the heart throbs.  Analysis of the urine reveals slackening of the animá, causing a distinct pallor and lack of taste in the urine.  If phrenology is exercised, bumps on the scalp may indicate which bodily component has fallen victim to a tumor; additionally, the cut hair, if gathered and tossed out of a window into a gentle wind, may indicate the aggressiveness of the tumor, depending on the direction the hair falls.

The location of the tumor is of particular importance.  Iollan the Long-Sighted has said, "It it evident that tumors behave differently depending on what part of the body they affect.  For example, tumor of the brain is very often fatal within weeks or months, and is prone to causing spells of lapse of consciousness or thrashing episodes.  Tumor of the colon may be heralded by bleeding from the anus, and has an unpredictable course--some may last years with this disease, other only weeks."  It would behoove us greatly to devote a discipline of study related entirely to the natural history of tumors and their treatments.

Cure/Prevention
Trepanism, that is, using a specialized boring tool called a trephine so that masses or blood on the head and brain can come out, is a standard practice of highly-skilled chirurgeons.  Unfortunately, exsanguination is a common result of these surgeries, and fatality runs high.  Surgical excision of many other types of tumors is better understood and carries a much higher probability of surviving the removal of the invasive mass.  It is the practice of this author to prescribe plentiful sun exposure, along with twice or thrice daily imbibing of one sip of ormelin, for no less than six months, to eradicate a tumor on any part of the body.

Anecdotally, a mash of the petals of the silkel tree flower, liberally added to food or soup and administered to one who suffers a tumor, has been known in rare occasions to miraculously remove any sign that a tumor ever existed.  This method has not been tested by this author.

History, Myth/Lore, et al.
Priests of Armeros have suggested that a tumor is an internal turmoil, the sanguine warring with the choleric constituent, in someone seeking Truth.  This is not a punishment, but rather a manifestation of the internal conflict someone is experiencing.  Priestesses of Jeyriall have not offered such a solid rationale, rather stating that this is a perversion of Her creation, not an intentional effect of Her work.
« Last Edit: 10 July 2012, 03:29:51 by Kelancey the Green » Logged

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Azhira Styralias
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« Reply #1 on: 15 June 2012, 22:33:10 »

Would the word "tumor" be a commonplace word? Seems too contemporary. Perhaps physicians only see a lump, bulge or blob on the body that indicates something abnormal. When someone presents with a "lump on the breast", it is quickly noted that the patient is sick, tired and often dies soon after.

Or, the lump could be harmless (benign) and maybe go away on its own or cause no further problems.

A bit of lore perhaps that a lump on the body indicates a possession of spirits, or the result of eating certain foods. Maybe smokers of pipeweed are often known to get sick and after death examinations (i.e. autopsy) would reveal tumors on the lungs or throat.
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« Reply #2 on: 21 June 2012, 02:50:49 »

Yes, I agree with Azhira here that "tumour" sounds a bit, well, like medical science. Whenever possible we should try to aim for giving such terms a medieval touch or approach it from how it appears and determine the name from there.

For example I've just read at Wikipedia how the name "cancer" came to be:

Quote
Hippocrates (ca. 460 BC – ca. 370 BC) described several kinds of cancer, referring to them with the Greek word carcinos (crab or crayfish). This name comes from the appearance of the cut surface of a solid malignant tumour, with "the veins stretched on all sides as the animal the crab has its feet, whence it derives its name".

So the appearance is always a good indicator what could work as an alternative word. Like a "lump", "swelling" etc. If associated with bad things we could mix it with superstitions, negative world view/religion related things, like e.g. "Netherlump". This would refer to the Netherworlds, and netherbeasts for example are known to be malformed creatures, so there'd be a connection. Or "Coór's swellings" to indicate it's dark nature. Or, say, a "Mystran's touch" - that would be something Azhira also hints at, that a dark spirit mayhaps has touched someone and tries to take possession of that someone. Could be that the superstition exists that if you're a bad person you're more receptive to letting a dark spirit devour you "from the inside out" or something.

Just throwing out some ideas ;)
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« Reply #3 on: 21 June 2012, 15:07:57 »

Well, the word "tumor" apparently dates from the 1540s, which isn't that modern.  If it's really necessary to use another word, how about deriving one from Styrash, like how "tumor" was apparently derived from the Latin word for "to swell"?  I think "lump" sounds rather plain and unspecific. 
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« Reply #4 on: 21 June 2012, 23:50:22 »

Just some food for thought:  Styrash has the words mephér for hellfire, inerá for rigidity, caeháem for curse, and galnós for stone.

The Swedish word for "Swelling" or "turgor" is svullnad; this could be tweaked a little into Gnomish tongue such as Svulnaf and plural Svulnafi.

"Tumor" is just used to refer to a swelling or turgid lump.  Would "Turgor" be a more appropriate sounding word?  My vote would actually be to keep the word tumor as is, for the fact it could be another cognate--a shared word between English and Tharian.  Just my vote.
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« Reply #5 on: 22 June 2012, 21:17:58 »

'Tumor' is fine with me.  It goes back to the 1540s in English, so while it may sound modern, there really shouldn't be a problem with it.

  I also love anything Latinate that we can tweak, twitch, pervert, distort, or blame on Gnomic (the name of the Gnomish language :) )
While 'Svulnaf' isn't Latin, it has a great sound to it, with a built-in 'Tharian' mnemonic.  I'd love to see those suggestions incorporated.
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« Reply #6 on: 22 June 2012, 21:19:06 »

Oops, shouldn't post late at night.  I see Mina beat me to the punch!    Anyhow, my opinion still stands... :P
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Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
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« Reply #7 on: 22 June 2012, 22:12:01 »

I'll note that we have in the past not used words (such as 'science') that are old but have acquired modern connotations. I'm not taking a stance, but a word having its origins in 1540 isn't necessarily enough.

I do like galnos, though.
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Kelancey the Green
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« Reply #8 on: 25 June 2012, 01:27:34 »

Here are some suggestions from Thesaurus.com for alternatives to "tumor":

Gibbosity, excrescence, corruption, malignancy, protuberance, nodule, intumescence, tuber, corm, tumefaction, bulb...

We could also go the route of renaming tumors after a god, such as Queprurian nodules.  Just saying...
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #9 on: 26 June 2012, 04:44:21 »

Well, from all these options tumor still sounds the best somehow.... lol

Ok, so let's see: A possibility would also be to use the word "tumor", as Judy mentioned, but construct it as a short Gnomic version of something with the right meaning. For example the syllable "mor" (or "moor", "muor") could be associated with "illness". Side note: Interestingly that's what "morbus" means in Latin, but tumor isn't derived from that. Now "Tu" or "tou" etc. might mean something like a "swelling", thus the composite would be "swelling illness". In Tharian the longer Gnomic word, say if it's "Tou'muor", would be shortened, and thus we'd have the commonly used "tumor".

One can always add further specific references associated with a God for example, like "Quep'tumor" (tumor of Queprur) or reduce things further to "Quepumor" (mainly for the sound of it and loss of original deduction), so one can play around with that in order not to get too complicated words.
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« Reply #10 on: 26 June 2012, 12:17:58 »

What would be an elvish term for lump, or nut, or stone?  Something along those lines could be used in place of.  Just sticking my nose in. rolleyes
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Kelancey the Green
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« Reply #11 on: 27 June 2012, 00:38:19 »

Thanks for all the input, Arti, Alt, Judy, Mina, Azhira and Ath!

Okay, so, how would the following sound?
To Gnomic doctors, the word toumuor is used to describe a swelling illness ("toum" = swelling; "muor" = illness).
Elves refer to galnos (stone) as a hard nodule, not necessarily specific to tumors.
Humans have shortened the Gnomic word toumuor to the commonly accepted word, tumor.
Dwarves might use the full Gnomic word toumuor, or another variant spelling.
Orcs...I haven't thought of that yet.
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Kelancey the Green
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« Reply #12 on: 27 June 2012, 22:19:26 »

A few edits made regarding different names for tumors, plus an explanation offered that tumors may offer symptoms but the cause of the symptoms may not be known until after death (i.e. necropsy).
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