Thursday, October 14, 2010
Cancer is a man-made disease, fuelled by the excesses of modern life, study of ancient remains from fossils to mummies has concluded.
A review of Egyptian mummies, fossil records dating back to dinosaurs and classical literature found tumours to be extremely rare until recent times, when factors from pollution to poor diet made life more toxic.
They discovered that the disease rate has risen dramatically since the Industrial Revolution, in particular childhood cancer â€“ proving that the rise is not simply due to people living longer.
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They believe that a better understanding of the origins of cancer could lead to new treatments for the disease which claims more than 150,000 lives a year in the UK alone.
Michael Zimmerman, a visiting professor at Manchester University, said: ‘In an ancient society lacking surgical intervention, evidence of cancer should remain in all cases.
‘The virtual absence of malignancies in mummies must be interpreted as indicating their rarity in antiquity, indicating that cancer-causing factors are limited to societies affected by modern industrialisation.’
This article was posted: Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 1:10 pm