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3,200-year-old skeleton had cancer

3,200-Year-Old Skeleton Had Cancer

As far as archeological finds go - this one is pretty rare.

"A 3,200-year-old skeleton with cancer. ... The remains of the wealthy man, believed to be around 30 when he died, were found close to the Nile River."

British scientists who made the find say it's the oldest example of cancer ever discovered.

KHQ-TV reports the skeleton was found in a Sudanese tomb, and showed a malignant soft-tumor cancer that had spread to several bones, including the man's shoulder blades, upper arms and collar bone.

So why's this such a big deal? Cancer is largely thought of as a modern-day ailment, but a BBC reporter got to take a first hand look at the discovery, and says scientists have big hopes for what they can learn from it.

"These bones suggest that the disease has its roots much deeper in our past and that is something that could be useful to medical researchers trying to combat cancer."

In fact the lead author of the study called cancer's history so far quote "almost unknown" - pointing out there are very few known examples of the disease before the first millennium AD.

As Daily Mail points out, researchers still don't know what caused the man's cancer, but they've theorized carcinogens from wood fire smoke or genetic factors could be possibilities.

The researchers' findings can be found in the science journal PLOS One.

Join the discussion

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klassikars March 18 2014 at 6:57 PM

He probably slept too close to a luminous sundial.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
PERFORATOR March 19 2014 at 2:00 AM

Cancer wasnt his only problem. Look at the picture, his hands are on the wrong sides!

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1 reply
nikkitytom PERFORATOR March 19 2014 at 3:28 AM

I love an keen observer. On the other hand this guy may have been buried with his palms facing upwards. Certain meditation positions open the palms to higher energy sources. But I think Franco probably nailed it.

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laurarvail1 March 19 2014 at 12:33 AM

The Pharoahs of Egypt (that are BCE) showed cancerous cells (and had testicles removed -and the incisions were healed).... cancer has been with us, for time immemorial. In the past it was called a "wasting disease"... since there was no medical profession, per se.....

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WILLS March 18 2014 at 3:50 PM

Perhaps the frequency of the disease grew with expansion of humanity and since we are GMO's, the genetics spread. I suppose this would be a great find as it would identify DNA as cancers root source.

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1 reply
MICHAEL WILLS March 18 2014 at 4:40 PM

hum. agreed

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bwess8 March 18 2014 at 8:53 PM

Most diseases have evolved with human kind . just because
they haven't found it yet doesn't mean there not here. some people
are weak and get sick easy.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
bwess8 bwess8 March 18 2014 at 8:56 PM

this is not what I typed !!!!!!!!!!!! this was spelling correct when I hit submit???

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1 reply
Jan bwess8 March 18 2014 at 11:28 PM

What DID you type?

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Ol Bob March 18 2014 at 3:59 PM

Notify me when you find a 3200 year old skeleton with a bullet wound.

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1 reply
ajt1025 Ol Bob March 18 2014 at 4:24 PM

They used Ray guns now get with it.

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magicdog39 March 18 2014 at 9:19 PM

I just had the top left lobe and a little of the lower left lobe of my lung removed. I just got done with the chemo too. Cancer sucks!

Flag Reply +6 rate up
3 replies
hmenglish1 March 18 2014 at 8:55 PM

there is nothing new under the sun ,

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
dws51564 hmenglish1 March 18 2014 at 9:27 PM

Drug resistant bacteria.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
ajt1025 March 18 2014 at 4:26 PM

It's wonderful to find these things out in this day in age. We tend to look to Egypt for answers to all our problems? They were screwed up back then and to the best of my knowledge the are just as screwed up today. What the big deal?

Flag Reply +3 rate up
fred March 18 2014 at 8:52 PM

Would still be here today if he had listened to Al and quit flying his private jet and driving his SUV.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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