Call for an instant quote
0345 90 80 161
Open Mon to Fri 09:00 - 17:30 | Sat 09:00 - 16:00 (GMT)
18 March 2014 09:20
An ancient skeleton may help with cancer research, scientists say
A complete 3,200-year-old skeleton with cancer could help scientists better understand how the disease has evolved.
The remains of the wealthy man aged 25-35, which were found in a tomb close to the River Nile in Sudan by Durham University student Michaela Binder in 2013, showed evidence of cancer spreading around the body.
Researchers claim it is the oldest and most convincing example of metastatic carcinoma to ever be found.
They hope the discovery will help to explore underlying causes of cancer in ancient times and provide insights into the evolution of cancer in the past.
"This may help us to understand the almost unknown history of the disease," said Ms Binder, the lead author from Durham University's Archaeology Department.
"We have very few examples pre the first millennium AD. We need to understand the history of the disease to better understand how it evolved and for that it is important to find more examples.
"Our analysis showed that the shape of the small lesions on the bones can only have been caused by a soft tissue cancer even though the exact origin is impossible to determine through the bones alone."
The bones were found at the once-populated Amara West site, 750km downstream from the modern capital of Khartoum, providing concrete proof that cancer did exist in the Nile Valley in 1200BC.
Although the disease is one of the leading causes of death today, it is extremely rare in archaeological finds compared to other detectable killers.
This had led scientists to conclude that cancer is a product of modern lifestyles and increased longevity.
There are more than 200 different types of cancer, each with its own methods of diagnosis and treatment.
Whether you are a cancer survivor or are undergoing treatment for cancer,
cancer travel insurance is important when going on holiday. It provides peace of mind and cover for any medical expenses incurred when away.
24 March 2017
People who drink moderately are less likely to suffer a heart attack, according to a new study.
23 March 2017
Passengers on certain flights into the UK will no longer be able to carry laptops and tablets like iPads in their hand luggage.
22 March 2017
Mountaineers looking to scale the world's highest peak may need to shell out for a GPS device, according to Nepal's tourism chief.
21 March 2017
The effects of being in skyscrapers, at concerts or even walking on wobbly bridges could help scientists understand the experiences of dementia sufferers, researchers are claiming.
18 March 2017
A young actor has released pictures of a lump on her throat that turned out to be thyroid cancer, with hopes the image will raise awareness and alert others who may be suffering from the disease.
17 March 2017
A "promising treatment" for aggressive blood cancer needs more evidence of its effectiveness before NHS doctors will be able to prescribe, a watchdog is warning.
16 March 2017
Millions of Brits are opting for coach holidays over jet-setting and cruises, new research indicates.
15 March 2017
Thousands of flights to and from America's north east have been cancelled in preparation for a "life-threatening" storm poised to hit the country.
14 March 2017
Seniors who experience weight loss should not put it down to the normal ageing process, experts are warning.
11 March 2017
Gatwick Airport is insisting it is still a "credible and deliverable" expansion option, as the airport experienced its busiest ever February.
08 March 2017
Strikes by French air traffic controllers (ATCs) are leading to delays and cancellations across the UK.
10 March 2017
Waiting times for kidney transplant patients have fallen significantly, health officials have said.