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.
19 January 2017
Nearly 1,000 people have had their holidays in Gambia cut short amid growing political unrest in the African state.
18 January 2017
Researchers at Cambridge University may have made a breakthrough in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, according to preliminary findings.
17 January 2017
Stansted Airport has made a bid to become Britain's next hub for long-haul travel, as passengers are promised seamless connection facilities and baggage transfer.
13 January 2017
Long-term goals such as travelling more and visiting new places have come above healthy eating and changing jobs in a list of the top New Year's resolutions.
14 January 2017
Some of the biggest airports in the UK have been forced to cancel flights as snow and blizzard conditions sweep parts of the country.
Stress could be as significant a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes as smoking, drinking and overeating, new research shows.
24 December 2016
Planned strikes by British Airways cabin crew on Christmas Day and Boxing Day have been suspended amid continuing industrial unrest ahead of the weekend break.
11 January 2017
A connection between diabetes and inflection in children could be a major breakthrough in developing a cure for type 1 diabetes, according to new research.
10 January 2017
A new trial aimed at tackling widespread loneliness among older people is successfully reducing isolation using community-based tactics, a report shows.
07 January 2017
People may be able to enjoy better brain health in later life by following a Mediterranean diet, research has suggested.
06 January 2017
Many Britons plan to cut down on the costs of their holidays in 2017, as part of their financial resolutions for the New Year.
05 January 2017
Holidaymakers have been encouraged to make the most of the fact 2017 boasts a pair of bank holiday weekends just two weeks apart.