The oldest known incidence of cancer in a human has been found in a 3,000-year-old skeleton. Analysis of the remains, which were found in a tomb in what used to be ancient Nubia, revealed metastatic carcinoma — a form of cancer that spreads to other parts of the body. The discovery shows that the disease is not strictly a modern affliction.


Image: M. Binder et al./PLOS ONE.

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I'm really surprised it was considered a modern disease until now. Most cancers at least start in soft tissue and thus any case not impacting bone in some way would be invisible. I imagine that cancer before modern medicine would kill people much earlier than modern ones.