5 Aug 2016

Oldest evidence of cancer found

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:20 pm on 5 August 2016

We perhaps think of cancer as a relatively modern disease, but it turns out it’s been around for a very long time.

Scientists have just discovered a fossilised foot bone from an ancient human dating back 1.7 million years that shows signs of an agressive form of bone cancer.

One of the scientists involved – Zachary Throckmorton – has just returned from Africa where the bone was found. Jesse Mulligan gave him a call.

“Some people have argued that cancer is primarily a disease of modern times, but cancer is, essentially, unregulated cellular growth. It does not necessarily require carnicogenic materials or carcinogenic chemicals to cause the growth” – Zachary Throckmorton

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