Ancient Egyptians tried to cure brain cancer, 4,000-year-old skull reveals

Ancient Egyptians tried to cure brain cancer, 4,000-year-old skull reveals

The team was stunned to see knife marks on the skull.

Ancient Egyptians were not only skilled in medicine, they also attempted to cure cancer, according to a new study. It is based on an analysis of a pair of 4,000-year-old skulls and has been published in the journal Cancer The front lines of medicineThis finding is the result of a joint effort by researchers from the University of Tubingen in Germany, Cambridge in England, Barcelona and Santiago de Compostela in Spain. They found evidence of brain tumor removal in patients thousands of years ago, which was a far cry from those times.

“We wanted to learn about the role of cancer in the past, how prevalent the disease was in ancient times, and how ancient societies dealt with this pathology,” Tatiana Tondini, a researcher at the University of Tubingen and first author of the paper, said in a statement.

The skulls he examined are from the Duckworth Collection at the University of Cambridge. NewsweekThe first, dated between 2687 and 2345 BC, is of a man aged 30 to 35, while the second, dated between 663 and 343 BC, is of a woman aged over 50.

The researchers said they found a large lesion that indicated abnormal growth of tissue. There were also several other smaller lesions around the skull that suggested the growth had metastasized.

The team was also stunned to find knife marks around each lesion, as if someone had deliberately tried to cut out these cancerous growths.

“When we first saw the cut marks under the microscope, we couldn't believe what we had in front of us,” Tondini said.

“It seems that ancient Egyptians performed some type of surgery related to the presence of cancer cells, which proves that ancient Egyptian medicine was also doing experimental treatments or medical explorations regarding cancer,” said co-author Albert Isidro, a surgical oncologist at Sacred Heart University Hospital in Spain.

The other skull also showed a large lesion consistent with cancerous growth.

However, the researchers cautioned that it is difficult to make definitive statements when studying skeletal remains.

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