Cambridge: the inhabitants of medieval England suffered anomalously from tumors

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After archaeologists examined the bones of several hundred medieval Englishmen, it was found that approximately 9-14% of them suffered from cancer during their lifetime. About this on Friday, April 30, the press service of the University of Cambridge, citing an article in the journal Cancer.

Previously, it was believed that most of the inhabitants of the Middle Ages died from infectious diseases. Often the cause of death was dysentery or plague, as well as war and famine. “Now we have to add malignant tumors to this list,” said Jenna Dittmar, a researcher at the University of Cambridge.

The scientist pointed out that many consider malignant neoplasms to be a product of modern civilization, but recent studies show that these diseases are found in the bones of medieval Europeans, as well as in ancient Neanderthals and even more primitive representatives of the genus Homo.

Cancer has also been found in much older creatures. In 2019, scientists found traces of osteosarcoma in the bones of the first turtles of the Earth from the Triassic era. Also, presumably, traces of sarcoma were found in the bones of sea lizards of the Mesozoic era and beast lizards of the Permian period.