Ancient Cancer Patient Discovered.


September 2014
Cancer is relatively absent from archaeological records compared to other diseases, leading many to believe that it is mainly attributable to modern lifestyles. But a new study suggests otherwise.

British researchers have found what they believe is the world’s oldest example of a human being with metastatic cancer — a 3,000-year old skeleton found in a tomb in Sudan. Using X-rays and a scanning electron microscope, the archaeologists were able to get clear imaging of the lesions, which showed widespread tumors across the upper body. “Insights gained from archaeological human remains like these can really help us to understand the evolution and history of modern diseases,” said Michaela Binder, a Durham PhD student who led the research and excavated and examined the skeleton.

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