A Preston lecturer is claiming they have found the earliest ever evidence of cancer in a human – some 1.7 MILLION years ago.
The discovery a foot bone was found in South Africa and showed definitive evidence of malignant cancer.
Dr Patrick Randoph-Quinney, a senior lecturer in biological and forensic anthropology at the University of Central Lancashire, is the lead author of the tumour paper and co-author of the cancer paper.
He and fellow researcher Edward Odes also found the oldest tumour ever found in a human fossil record.
There was a benign neoplasm found in the vertebrae of a child dated to almost two million years ago.
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The oldest previously demonstrated tumour was found in a rib of a Neanderthal and dated to around 120,000 years ago.
Dr Randolph-Quinney said: “The presence of a benign tumour in Australopithecus sediba is fascinating not only because it is found in the back, an extremely rare place for such a disease to manifest in modern humans, but also because it is found in a child. This in fact is the first evidence of such a disease in a young individual in the whole of the fossil human record.”