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The analysis performed on a neanderthal man 120,000 years ago has revealed the oldest tumor so far. Found a century ago along with 900 other Neanderthal bones in a shelter 35 miles north of Zagreb, Croatia, it came to the fore in the 1980s when an X-ray by the University of Pennsylvania highlighted the importance of a 30 millimeter rib in the crowd.
It was the only bone where a burn had occurred when it was overexposed to x-rays and its explanation was based on the fact that a fibrous dysplasia tumor had left a cavity at the site of a healthy nerve.
The fibrous dysplasia It is not a cancer but a genetic mutation that causes benign tumors. In this case, the large size of the nerve injury suggests that it had been painful for the individual.
It is a finding of great relevance as it is few cases of tumors found in the archaeological record, since it is a disease that usually develops with age, and in ancient times life expectancy was much shorter than now. On the other hand, environmental changes and pollution currently play a very important role in the development of this type of disease.
The older tumors found and subsequent to this have been observed in egyptian mummies and with no more than 4,000 years old, so this newly studied tumor exceeds the previous ones by more than 100,000 years.
I was born in Madrid on August 27, 1988 and since then I started a work of which there is no example. Fascinated by both numbers and letters and a lover of the unknown, that is why I am a future graduate in Economics and Journalism, interested in understanding life and the forces that have shaped it. Everything is easier, more useful and more exciting if, with a look at our past, we can improve our future and for that… History.