Archaeologists digging in Sudan found a 3,200-year-old skeleton riddled with cancer.
Archaeologists digging in Sudan found a 32 hundred-year-old skeleton riddled with cancer.
The specimen had telltale bone lesions on its collarbone, pelvis, spine, breastbone, ribs and shoulder blades.
It’s believed to be the oldest known example of the disease.
Despite how common cancer is now, there’s little evidence of it existing in ancient times.
That lack has prompted many to believe that it’s a modern problem, spurred by lifestyle and extended life spans.
The scientists hope that their recent find will help inform current understanding of the disease by providing some historical background.
Unfortunately, while the skeleton shows evidence that the disease existed in the days of Ancient Egypt, very little else was able to be determined given the state of the remains.
The marks on the bones did provide enough evidence for the researchers to deduce the cancer was of soft tissue variety.
They were also able to estimate that the victim was between the ages of 25 and 35.
Among the unknowns are what caused his cancer with both environmental, genetic or infections considered.
Also a mystery is where in the body the cancer originated.