In an article published in the International Journal of Paleopathology, a research team in Portugal has recently diagnosed the oldest known case of prostate cancer in ancient Egypt and the second oldest documented case in the world. The earliest diagnosis came from a 2,700 year-old skeleton of a Scythian king in Russia. The tumors were detected by performing high-resolution computerized tomography (CT) scans on three Egyptian mummies in which small, 1-2 mm diameter tumors were detected in the pelvis, lumbar spine and upper arm and leg bones. While it has been thought that exposure to carcinogens during the industrial age led to a general increase in cancers, this disease could have been prevalent in ancient peoples as well. This information was adapted from ScienceNOW, an on-line daily news service of the journal Science.
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