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Prehistoric Tumors

Prehistoric Tumors - Prehistoric tumors that were found 10 years ago in a Scythian burial mound have come to light in the news recently. Their existence is leading to questions about modern cancers and how much we've really been doing to ourselves.

The case for cancer existing prior to the Industrial Revolution certainly did not need to be made. It's been known for some time that cancer has always been with us. But how much we've been doing it to ourselves is where opinion diverges.

The Scythian prehistoric tumors or--better put-- the remnants of same, were found in the skeleton of a middle-aged man who apparently died of metastasized prostate cancer. The pain he must have felt from the tumors in his body is hard to imagine.

Prehistoric Tumors

The New York Times notes researchers have found about 200 possible cancer deaths out of thousands of skeletons over the years. But are such prehistoric and pre-Industrial Age tumors proof we've always had cancer a lot or not?

Two Egyptologists argued that prehistoric tumors are rare enough to blame modern ways for the problem, in an article in Nature Reviews: Cancer. But response to that claim was rapid and dismissive.

Proof of prehistoric tumors is very hard to come across. Bones carry the markers best after soft tissue decays. But bones also disintegrate, sometimes while being handled by the scientists who are looking for them.

Prehistoric Tumors

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