Skip to content

Cancer detected in young man's skeleton from ancient Egypt

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/20/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Significant find as it points to causes of cancer before the onset of modern lifestyles

Too often, cancer is believed to be the cause of a modern lifestyle - many common cancers are linked to such bad habits as smoking and obesity. The scourge of cancer, however, has always been with us. Researchers have unearthed the skeleton of a young man who lived in ancient Egypt who suffered from cancer.

There have been some previous hints of the disease in archaeological records. A U.S. researcher published details of a 120,000-year-old fossilized Neanderthal rib that showed indications of a bone tumor.

There have been some previous hints of the disease in archaeological records. A U.S. researcher published details of a 120,000-year-old fossilized Neanderthal rib that showed indications of a bone tumor.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
3/20/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Cancer, ancient Egypt, skeleton, medical research


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It's the earliest confirmed case of cancer. Dating back to around 1,200 BC, the discovery was made at the Amara West site in northern Sudan. The finding is one of many confirmations that the disease has its roots in the distant past.

Discovered by Michaela Binder, a PhD student at Durham University, she said the find was of "critical importance in learning about the underlying causes of cancer in ancient populations, before the onset of modern lifestyles."

Prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Binder's discovery suggests that the disease was prevalent thousands of years ago. "I was surprised to see such a cancer in an individual from ancient Egyptian times," she told reporters.

"We still don't know a lot about cancer. Only a very few examples have been found of the disease in the distant past."

Binder's finding is of particular interest because it is 2,000 years older than the previously confirmed instance of the disease.

When she unearthed the skeleton she found that the bones were riddled with holes. Working with Daniel Antoine, a curator at the British Museum, Binder says that Antoine is responsible for the museum's human remains.

"It was very exciting to work with such a well preserved skeleton," he told reporters. "The marks on the bones were very clear and our analysis showed that there was evidence that the young man suffered from a type of cancer."

According to Dr Kat Arney of Cancer Research U.K., the discovery will be of great interest to medical researchers. "If they can analyze the DNA from the skeleton, it might tell us about the gene mutations that made [this person] susceptible to this type of cancer. That could shed light on the evolution of the disease, along with the evolution of humankind."

There have been some previous hints of the disease in archaeological records. A U.S. researcher published details of a 120,000-year-old fossilized Neanderthal rib that showed indications of a bone tumor.

There have been other finds from around 4,000 years back that show some similar signs. But without a full skeleton to show the spread of the disease, it is hard to confirm that these specimens actually had cancer.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for SEPTEMBER 2017
Parishes.
That our parishes, animated by a missionary spirit, may be places where faith is communicated and charity is seen.


Comments


More Health

What is the world's most deadly disease? It might not be what you think Watch

Image of Hepatitis is a killer, and takes more lives than HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. It can be treated cured, but the political will to eradicate the disease is low.

Despite all the attention we give to diseases like HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis, it turns out viral hepatitis kills more people. The ... continue reading


One-in-five working-age American men cannot work because of opioid addiction Watch

Image of Opioids are destroying America's workforce.

A Princeton study reveals that 20 percent of American men have dropped out of the workforce because of opioid use. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Americans are FATTER than ever, but here's the ONLY thing you can do to lose weight Watch

Image of Americans are eating more, eating worse, and exercising less.

Americans are fat, and getting fatter according to new research from the CDC. More than 20 percent of Americans in every state are obese, ... continue reading


Turning doctors into dealers: Drug company paid doctors to get their patients addicted to opioids Watch

Image of Insys has been accused of paying doctors to lie and prescribe opioids people don't need.

Arizona is suing a drug company for getting doctors to illegally prescribe powerful opioid painkillers. According to the lawsuit, the ... continue reading


From evil to good, an abortion clinic is converted to care for the uninsured Watch

Image of

Prayer. Sacrifice. Friendship. Charity. Could one Virginia community's work to put basic Gospel tenets into action be a model for the ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.