Sunday, June 20, 2021

Cancer in Medieval Europe

 From Smithsonian:

“Until now it was thought that the most significant causes of ill health in medieval people were infectious diseases such as dysentery and bubonic plague, along with malnutrition and injuries due to accidents or warfare,” says co-author Jenna Dittmar, also an archaeologist at the University of Cambridge, in the statement. “We now have to add cancer as one of the major classes of disease that afflicted medieval people.”

The new findings add to scholars’ understanding of cancer, which has been a problem for humans—and other species—for a very long time. As Ed Cara reports for Gizmodo, the first recorded accounts of cancer date to more than 5,000 years ago, when an ancient Egyptian papyrus described the disease. At the same time, researchers know that cancer is more of a problem today than it was in the past. Today, the authors estimate, 40 to 50 percent of people in Great Britain have cancer in their bodies at time of death. (Read more.)


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