Oldest Human Cancer Found In 1.7-Million-Year-Old Bone

Posted: Jul 29 2016, 8:11am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News


Oldest Human Cancer Found in 1.7-Million-Year-Old Bone
This micro-CT image shows a tumor in an ancient toe bone from a human relative. Credit: PATRICK RANDOLPH-QUINNEY, UCLAN
  • The Oldest Evidence of Cancer in Humans has been Found

Apparently, the oldest evidence of cancer in humans has been found. A bone that happens to be 1.7 million years old shows signs of the deadly disease that even today has no proper cure.

The fossils found in South Africa have a great deal of value for paleontologists. They come from the region known as the Cradle of Humankind. 

It is in one of the fossils from this area that signs of cancer, the deadliest of diseases, has been found. Via 3D imaging, scientists have gauged a fiendish form of cancer known as an osteosarcoma.

This was found in a toe of a human relative, the remains of which lay in a cave. The age of the fossil went back 1.7 millions years ago into the distant past. 

The finding was published in the South African Journal of Science

This shows us that although cancer is said to be a modern disease brought on by the industrial revolution, its bases still lie deep in our evolutionary past.

Even today we can follow a strict paleo diet with fruits, vegetables and lean meats. We can also take ten thousand precautions regarding lifestyle, exercise and rest. Yet the disease that is cancer has an uncanny way of making mincemeat of all our plans. 

Cancer has always been a subject that has been hotly debated among the experts. The Ancient Egyptians mentioned this malady for the first time in history.

Imhotep mentions that the affliction consists of a bulging mass in the breast that could not be cured by any form of therapy. It was not until the late 18th century that a thorough analysis of this ailment began to be made on an earnest basis.

Maybe the major reason why cancer remained hidden for most of history is that it normally occurs in those who are 65 years or older. For long stretches of history, few people lived to such a ripe old age so mostly they didn’t contract this disease.  

Modern civilization thus was not the sole reason behind cancer. Rather it served as the great revealer of cancer. By an extension in the average human life span, civilization seems to have been the source of expression of this ravaging disease.

Meanwhile, the evidence found in the fossil records of cancer has been elusive. In the 90s, mummies in Peru showed signs of tumors. While mummification goes back thousands of years in the past, the fossil record is millions of years old.

When the researchers studied the images from the fossils using micro-CT imaging they say the cancerous growths. From all evidence it is clear that the individual who contracted it so long ago must have had to go through hell just to walk let alone run. Another fossil also was examined and it too showed a cancerous tumor.  

You May Like


The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.




Leave a Comment

Share this Story

Follow Us
Follow I4U News on Twitter
Follow I4U News on Facebook

You Also Like


Read the Latest from I4U News