Cancer is officially older than 1.7 million years – not a modern disease after all

South Africa proves that cancer is not much of a modern disease and that it had long existed for over 1.7 Million years. An aggressive cancer tumor, rather numerous tumors were found in a 1.7 Million year old foot bone.

That is according to the researchers in Wits (University of Witwatersrand)’s Evolutionary Studies Institute) and South African Center for Excellence in Paleosciences.

It had been reported that the benign tumor was located, rather found, in a fossilized foot bone, which is suspected to belong to a bipedal hominin (early ancestor of modern-day humans, which was discovered in the Swartkrans cave outside of Johannesburg)

In study it was reported that the cancer discovered in the bone is said to be osteosarcoma, which is an aggressive form of cancer that commonly affects young individuals now.

Witswatersrand scientist and co-author of the study said, “Due to its preservation, we don’t know whether the single cancerous foot bone belongs to an adult or child, nor whether the cancer caused the death of this individual, but we can tell this would have affected the individuals’ ability to walk or run,” Dr. Bernhard Zipfel continued to say “In short, it would have been painful.”


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