Ancient mummy had prostate cancer thousands of years ago
A 2,200-year-old Egyptian mummy has been found to have had prostate cancer, recording the world’s second oldest know case of the disease to exist, and the oldest in Egypt.
Professor, Salima Ikram at American University in Cairo says the mummy is of a male that died in his forties. She and the other members of the research team that have studied the mummy for 2 years say that the find of prostate cancer indicates that the decease was probably contracted by genetics and not just environmental conditions.
Ikram says that there would have been no environmental factors that exist today that existed back in the day that the ancient Egyptian lived to cause the cancer, leading to the team believing that genetics also plays a big role in who contracts prostate cancer even today.
“Living conditions in ancient times were very different; there were no pollutants or modified foods, which leads us to believe that the disease is not necessarily only linked to industrial factors,” she said.
The oldest known case of prostate cancer was found in a 2,700-year-old skeleton of a Russian king, according to a statement by the university.
Ikram added, “Cancer is such a hot topic these days; experts are constantly trying to probe in hopes of answering the one question- when and how did the ailment really evolve?”