Cancer found in ancient human ancestor's foot

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Cancer found in ancient human ancestor's foot

#1  Postby DougC » Jul 30, 2016 1:31 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-36912529

B.B.C. - Article
The earliest evidence of cancer in the human fossil record has been discovered in a cave in South Africa, an international team of scientists say.
The aggressive tumour was found in a 1.7 million-year-old toe from an ancient human ancestor.
The toe belonged to one of the early hominins, either Homo ergaster or Paranthropus robustus.

Image

The researchers said the findings clearly show cancer is not a disease of modern society, as some people claim.
Tumours have been detected in remains before - a Croatian Neandertal who walked the Earth around 120,000 years ago was one of the oldest.
The new discovery was made in a toe bone from Swartkrans cave in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site near Johannesburg.

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Re: Cancer found in ancient human ancestor's foot

#2  Postby tuco » Jul 30, 2016 6:32 am

The researchers said the findings clearly show cancer is not a disease of modern society, as some people claim.


There are two different claims, about prevalence and about incidence.
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Re: Cancer found in ancient human ancestor's foot

#3  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Jul 30, 2016 6:33 am

Cancer is old. We've known this forever.
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Re: Cancer found in ancient human ancestor's foot

#4  Postby igorfrankensteen » Jul 30, 2016 8:29 am

It is the CAUSES or TRIGGERS of cancer which have changed, and been added to, over time.

This is another example of poor science reporting. A prejudiced journalist discovers that an assumption they made is false, and assumes their false assumption was universal, and not just peculiar to them.
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Re: Cancer found in ancient human ancestor's foot

#5  Postby SkyMutt » Jul 30, 2016 4:25 pm

igorfrankensteen wrote:It is the CAUSES or TRIGGERS of cancer which have changed, and been added to, over time.

This is another example of poor science reporting. A prejudiced journalist discovers that an assumption they made is false, and assumes their false assumption was universal, and not just peculiar to them.


That may be, but one of the authors of the papers is saying something very similar:

Prof. Lee Berger, an author on both papers and leader of the Malapa project where the fossil vertebra was found adds "not only has there been an assumption that these sorts of cancers and tumors are diseases of modernity, which these fossils clearly demonstrate they are not, but that we as modern humans exhibit them as a consequence of living longer, yet this rare tumor is found in a young child. The history of these types of tumors and cancers is clearly more complex than previously thought."


Both papers are available for free:

"Earliest hominin cancer: 1.7-million-year-old osteosarcoma from Swartkrans Cave, South Africa"

"Osteogenic tumour in Australopithecus sediba: Earliest hominin evidence for neoplastic disease"
Serious, but not entirely serious.

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Re: Cancer found in ancient human ancestor's foot

#6  Postby tuco » Jul 30, 2016 7:13 pm

When I was working in children hospital the most traumatic departments were oncology and emergency room as I got to carry still warm bodies of kids to morgue from these departments most often. I had this irrational dilemma, how to put them down on the cold metal morgue desk. Like kids or like piece of meat?
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Re: Cancer found in ancient human ancestor's foot

#7  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Jul 30, 2016 8:10 pm

NICU creeps me out. There's some hope because the kid was born alive but most of those kids will suffer from terrible complications all their lives and many will die.
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Re: Cancer found in ancient human ancestor's foot

#8  Postby laklak » Jul 30, 2016 8:13 pm

I've been to Swartkrans, went down into the caves. I'm not a particularly sensitive person (no, really, I'm not), but it was an awesome experience in the true sense of the word.
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Re: Cancer found in ancient human ancestor's foot

#9  Postby tuco » Jul 30, 2016 8:15 pm

Its department with highest turnover of staff where I worked. Not many could take the pressure. I think I could if they would not fire me, for telling my boss he was racist cunt when he was telling Roma kid going to eye surgery that "they will take knife to cut your eye .." true story.
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Re: Cancer found in ancient human ancestor's foot

#10  Postby Doubtdispelled » Jul 30, 2016 9:40 pm

igorfrankensteen wrote:It is the CAUSES or TRIGGERS of cancer which have changed, and been added to, over time.

This is another example of poor science reporting. A prejudiced journalist discovers that an assumption they made is false, and assumes their false assumption was universal, and not just peculiar to them.


Not quite. People get the idea that cancer is a 'modern' disease because so many people die from it now, but their impression is wrong, and that's because so many of the older causes of death have been eliminated, that it just seems cancer is 'new'. The reality is that those who may have eventually succumbed to cancer died from some other cause before they could develop a terminal case.
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

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Re: Cancer found in ancient human ancestor's foot

#11  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Jul 31, 2016 12:33 am

Yep, when you've survived everything else cancer will get you.

The increase in rates of cancer is a result of increased longevity.
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Re: Cancer found in ancient human ancestor's foot

#12  Postby crank » Jul 31, 2016 7:33 am

It looks like what they've discovered is the source of Trump's hair
“When you're born into this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show. If you're born in America you get a front row seat.”
-George Carlin, who died 2008. Ha, now we have human centipedes running the place
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Re: Cancer found in ancient human ancestor's foot

#13  Postby igorfrankensteen » Jul 31, 2016 6:16 pm

Doubtdispelled wrote:
igorfrankensteen wrote:It is the CAUSES or TRIGGERS of cancer which have changed, and been added to, over time.

This is another example of poor science reporting. A prejudiced journalist discovers that an assumption they made is false, and assumes their false assumption was universal, and not just peculiar to them.


Not quite. People get the idea that cancer is a 'modern' disease because so many people die from it now, but their impression is wrong, and that's because so many of the older causes of death have been eliminated, that it just seems cancer is 'new'. The reality is that those who may have eventually succumbed to cancer died from some other cause before they could develop a terminal case.


You've partially misunderstood me.

I am specifically NOT siding with those who think cancer is an entirely new thing, caused entirely by modern human inventions.

What I am saying, is that declaring EITHER extreme, based on the fact that cancer has always been possible, is erroneous reasoning.

The fact that cancer happened long before chemical additives became a part of our lives, IS proof that cancer isn't entirely caused by humans.

However the fact that cancer in general is not new, does NOT mean that all chemical additives and so on, are entirely safe, and do NOT cause cancer.

Nor is the fact that people living longer and not dying of other causes, and therefore suffering from cancer in old age, prove that all other cancer triggers are not triggers after all.

I'm trying to figure out a way to hit the exact correct logical target, and not fall into the idiocy of aiming wildly to the left, simply because I used to aim wildly to the right.

Getting things wrong now, in the opposite way one got them wrong in the past, does not mean that one got them right.
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