A recent study has shown that cancer is 100% caused by human factors such as pollution and dietary intake. This has been discovered in 2010 by researchers at University of Manchester’s KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology in England. They have reviewed literature and remains from ancient Egypt and Greece and they found the earliest cancer diagnose in just one Egyptian mummy among the hundreds they have examined.
Also, while reviewing literature from that period they have found just a few references to this disease, so they concluded that cancer was very rare in that period.
The cancer rates, especially among children, have increased after the Industrial Revolution.
Prof. Rosalie David, from the Faculty of Life Sciences said that in industrialized societies cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death, and cancer is second. She said that there is absolutely nothing in the nature that can be cause of cancer, so she claims it is due to pollution and dietary and lifestyle changes which are man-made. Also, she added that their study has given them a historical perspective to cancer. They are now able to make clear statements on cancer rates since they have full overview because of reviewing data millions of years old.
Prof. Michael Zimmerman was the first scientist to diagnose cancer in an Egyptian mummy. The mummy was of an “ordinary” unidentified person who had rectal cancer and lived during the Ptolemaic period (200-400 AD).
According to prof. Zimmerman the ancient societies lacked surgical interventions so traces of cancer were able to remain until today. He said that cancer causing factors are limited only to societies that are affected by the modern industrialisation. The proof of this is the lack of malignancies in the mummies they examined which has led them to the conclusion that cancer was very rare at that time.
The researchers only examined literature from ancient Greece since there are no known human remains from that period; however they have also taken into consideration medical studies made on animal and human remains that date all the way back to the age of dinosaurs.
Short lifespan is not considered a factor
Cancer traces in human and animal fossils and also non-human primates were very rare. Still, a metastatic cancer discovery has been made in an Edmontosaurus fossil, and another study has shown evidence of abnormal tissue growth on various parts of the body in fossil remains which is a cancer characteristic.
According to some researchers the rarity of cancer in ancient times was because of the short lifespan. However, even though this is true, ancient Egyptians didn’t develop any other condition that affected mostly young persons.
There is another theory that claims cancer was not found in remains from ancient times because traces of this disease were not preserved very well. Dr. Zimmerman performed experimental studies which discovered that the mummification process actually preserved cancer and malignant tissues much better than normal healthy tissue.
Even though hundreds of mummies have been examined, only two publications show confirmations of cancer traces. The exams performed in the Cairo Museum also did not show any evidence of cancer.
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