Evidence of the Oldest Breast Cancer in the World Found in Egypt

The Minister of Antiquities, Dr. Mamdouh El-Damati, announced the discovery of the oldest evidence of breast cancer in the world. The discovery was made during the seventh archaeological season carried out by University of Jaén (Spain) in the necropolis of Qubbet el-Hawa (West Aswan). Dr. Miguel Botella (University of Granada) and his team of anthropologists have identified on the bones of an adult woman an extraordinary deterioration in all her skeleton. The study of her remains has highlighted the typical damages provoked by the extension of a breast cancer as a metastasis in the bones.

The team from the University of Jaén has confirmed that the woman lived at the end of the 6th Dynasty (2200 BC) and was part of the élite of the southernmost town of Egypt, Elephantine. The virulence of the disease impeded her to carry out any kind of labor, but she was treated and taken care for a long period until her death.

The University of Jaén began excavating in Qubbet el-Hawa in 2008 with the major goal of reconstructing the life and funerary rituals of the governors of Elephantine and their families, who lived between 2250 and 1750 BC. The team, directed by Dr. Alejandro Jiménez, is composed of experts in different disciplines; among these, physical anthropology plays a particularly important role in the reconstruction of the life conditions of Ancient Egyptians. Dr. Miguel Botella is a reputed anthropologist who has worked in numerous sites of the world (Kenya, Mexico, France, Colombia, Peru, etc).

Source: Supreme Council of Antiquities, Cairo, Egypt

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