A team of researchers have discovered a 4,200-year-old skeleton of an a middle-aged female that showed signs of breast cancer, the oldest known evidence of cancer to date. The skeleton of the woman was found in the necropolis of Qubbet el-Hawa in the town of Aswan. Mamdouh el-Damaty of the the Egyptian Antiquities Department stated the bones of the Egyptian woman, who most likely lived during the last few years of the sixth Pharaonic Dynasty, showed signs of unbelievable deterioration.
A statement released by the scientists who made the initial discovery stated the remains of the woman showed the normal skeletal damage caused by breast cancer, “as a metastasis.” Although cancer is now one the leading causes of death in people around the world, it has been undetected in ancient remains and was never documented. The preconceived notion that cancer is attributed to modern ways of life is now under question, according to the statement from the scientists.
Though, the finding is not the only one in recent years. In 2014, a team of British scientists found remnants of the same type of cancer in a 3,000-year-old skeleton buried in tomb in what is now Sudan.
By Alex Lemieux
Photo by Khalid Almasoud – Flickr License