Ancient Bone Shows Evidence Of Cancer In Human Ancestor

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Ancient Bone Shows Evidence Of Cancer In Human Ancestor

It appears that bone cancer has been a human malady for nearly as long as there have been humans.

A bone from a human ancestor that died between 1.8 million and 1.6 million years ago shows evidence of cancer, a newly published study finds. It is the oldest known example of a malignant tumor in a human ancestor.

The bone belonged to a hominin, an extinct relative of modern humans that lived and died in what is now South Africa. The foot bone, specifically the metatarsal that runs between the ankle and the pinky toe, was originally excavated between 1960 and 1980 from the Swartkrans cave, part of a World Heritage Site in South Africa called the Cradle of Humankind for its many hominin bones.

But a malignant tumor in the bone was not immediately apparent. A doctoral student in Florida originally examined the bone as part of an unpublished thesis and noticed the apparent tumor, but concluded it was just a kind of benign mass known as an osteoid osteoma.

Read Full Article: Ancient Bone Shows Evidence Of Cancer In Human Ancestor : The Two-Way : NPR

Read Full Article: Ancient Bone Shows Evidence Of Cancer In Human Ancestor : The Two-Way : NPR

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