He may have been dead for some time but by no means is he forgotten. This man who once ruled France has kept the people actively debating. What about? Why they wonder what really caused his death. Did he die of natural causes in exile or was he indeed poisoned with arsenic?
Dr. Robert Genta and a team of US, Canadian and Swiss researchers have tried to determine the cause of death for themselves. Dr. Genta, senior author of the study is a professor of pathology and internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He is also an expert on stomach cancer.
The team had nothing to use but the previous reports filed. So they worked with the autopsy report and applied modern pathological and clinical methods as best they could on these reports. Their conclusion is that Bonaparte had a tumor measuring the length of his stomach. He appeared to have third stage stomach cancer and probably had mere months to live. There was no hemorrhage of the heart that would have been present if Napoleon had indeed been poisoned.
Dr. Genta hopes that Napoleon may spark renewed study on gastric cancer just as Betty Ford inspired the interest in breast cancer. How many more famous personages in our history died of stomach cancer? The scientists will have to tell us.