DNA and X-ray tests of two bodies dated back to the year 834 have revealed the first case of cancer in the history of Norway, researchers say.
University of Oslo Anatomy Professor Per Holck said tests of the two female bodies found buried in the Oseberg, a Viking ship found in Norway in the early 1900s, showed one of the women had cancerous tumors in her bones, Aftenposten reported Saturday.
"We see here the first known case of cancer in this country," Holck said.
Holck said the cancer could have been breast or uterine cancer and appeared to have spread to the point where the woman had little chance to live.
"Even today she would have had little chance of recovery," he said.
The tests on the bodies also indicated the women were likely stronger than modern women and that both lived hard lives.
Aftenposten said the tests' results also offered contradictory evidence to a previous claim that one of the women was likely the paternal grandmother of Norway's first king, Harald Harfagre.
Copyright 2008 by United Press International
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