Scientists Determine That Cancer Is ‘Man-Made’ After Finding The Disease Nearly Non-Existent in Ancient Times
October 15, 2010
(ChattahBox Science News) — If there was any question whether our lifestyle impacts our health, British scientists seem to have the answer. A new study indicates that cancer was very rare until modern industrialization took place, according to a report in the British Daily Mail.
The study looked for references to cancer in classical literature, fossil records, and analysis from mummified bodies, but found very few instances of the disease. In fact, despite reviewing tissue samples from hundreds of Egyptian mummies, the researchers came across only one confirmed case of cancer, and found just one potential cancer among thousands of Neanderthal bones.
Scientists agree that mummification would preserve tumors better than healthy tissue, so evidence of cancer would most likely not disintegrate over time. In addition, although some argue that Egyptians died too young to get cancer, the researchers did find evidence of other diseases in the mummies, such as hardening of the arteries, the Mail report said.
The Manchester University researchers who conducted the report concluded that nothing in the natural environment causes cancer, “So it has to be a man-made disease, down to pollution and changes in our diet and lifestyle,” Professor Rosalie David told the Mail.
Scientific literature reports first discussed tumors in the 1700s, referring to cases of cancer in chimney sweeps and snuff users.