In April, 29th, 1961 a doctor of the 6th Soviet Antarctic expedition Leonid Rogozov aged 27 felt pain in a right lower belly and fever. The next day brought only exasperation. Having no chance to call a plane and being the only doctor at the station “Novolazarevskaya”, at night, in April, 30th the surgeon made an appendix removal operation on himself using local anesthesia. He was assisted by an engineer and the station’s meteorologist.
More recently, the US-based researcher Jerri Nielsen treated her own breast cancer during an antarctic winter. A few days after the winds and storms began to whip up and transport was cut off to the base for the winter, she discovered a lump in her breast. She biopsied herself, realized it was cancer, and administered her own chemotherapy that was delivered by a very dangerous mid-winter drop flight…there was no way they could have picked her up before the spring due to the winds, but they were able to drop the drugs she needed relatively near the base.
When she was able to be transported out in the spring, she’d already successfully completed over half of the treatment she needed to have, and was in remission for almost a decade.
Sadly, in 2008, the same type of cancer reappeared, but this time it was in her brain. Dr. Nielsen died in 2009. The movie “Ice Bound” was based on her experience.