Researchers find cancer in ancient Egyptian mummy

January 29, 2012

A professor from American University in Cairo says discovery of prostate cancer in a 2,200-year-old mummy indicates the disease was caused by genetics, not environment.

The genetics-environment question is key to understanding cancer.

AUC professor Salima Ikram, a member of the team that studied the in Portugal for two years, said Sunday the mummy was of a man who died in his forties.

She said this was the second oldest known case of .

"Living conditions in ancient times were very different; there were no pollutants or modified foods, which leads us to believe that the disease is not necessarily only linked to industrial factors," she said.

A statement from AUC says the oldest known case came from a 2,700 year-old of a king in Russia.

Explore further: China striving for mummy identification


Related Stories

China striving for mummy identification

December 25, 2006

A group of Chinese scientists is attempting to identify a 2,800-year-old mummy of an apparently Caucasian man found in an ancient tomb.

57 ancient tombs with mummies unearthed in Egypt

May 23, 2010

(AP) -- Archeologists have unearthed 57 ancient Egyptian tombs, most of which hold an ornately painted wooden sarcophagus with a mummy inside, Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities said Sunday.

Scientists suggest that cancer is purely man-made

October 14, 2010

( -- Cancer is a modern, man-made disease caused by environmental factors such as pollution and diet, a study by University of Manchester scientists has strongly suggested.

Recommended for you

Four pre-Inca tombs found in Peru's Lima

November 27, 2015

Archaeologists in Peru have found four tombs that are more than 1,000 years old in a pyramid-shaped cemetery that now sits in the middle of a residential neighborhood in Lima, experts said.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.