Cancer is on the rise and leading medical experts believe that the infectious disease could infect a lot more people if measures aren’t taken to halt its spread. Some blame our current lifestyles or the growing pollution for the disease’s increasingly common occurrence but a skeleton dating back to 1200 BC could shed some light on to its history and occurrence.
The skeleton was being examined at Durham University by a PhD student named Michaela Bender. The examination confirmed that the adult male who had died three millennia ago was infected with metastatic cancer. That basically means that the cancer originated in a certain part of his body but spread to other parts and infected the entire system. It was ruled out to probably be a soft tissue tumor that was understandably left untreated back then. The chances are that the poor devil didn’t even know what he was suffering from.
The skeleton was discovered in an archaeological dig in the Sudan in a tomb. The skeleton is being used to study the history of cancer and understanding its prevalence throughout human history. The research is being done in collaboration with the British Museum.
The bones were full of holes and showed signs of extreme damage. The cancer was confirmed in the male skeleton via the techniques of radiography and scanning electron microscopy. The probable causes of the cancer are inhalation of carcinogenic materials, smoke, exposure to radiation or just genetic mutation.
This is the oldest case of cancer ever detected and proves that the disease has been around for quite some time.