Scientists Suggest That Cancer Is A Man-Made Disease

Source: Joshua Sherurcij (CC)

Source: Joshua Sherurcij (CC)

Basing their findings on research conducted at the University of Manchester’s KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology, professors Rosalie David and visiting Villanova professor Michael Zimmerman assert:

“In an ancient society lacking surgical intervention, evidence of cancer should remain in all cases. The virtual absence of malignancies in mummies must be interpreted as indicating their rarity in antiquity, indicating that cancer causing factors are limited to societies affected by modern industrialization”.

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Moving from prehistory to modern times utilizing literary and mummified remains, there is little occurrence or reference to cancer, until the 17th century, where the team found the first reports in scientific literature of operations for breast and other types of cancer.

It has been suggested that the short life span of individuals in antiquity precluded the development of cancer. Although this statistical construct is true, individuals in ancient Egypt and Greece did live long enough to develop such diseases as atherosclerosis, Paget’s disease of bone, and osteoporosis, and, in modern populations, bone tumors primarily affect the young.

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16 Responses to Scientists Suggest That Cancer Is A Man-Made Disease

  1. emperorreagan October 14, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    Not surprising.

    Even in this era, where we supposedly care about safety, we still regularly see things rushed to market with inadequate testing, falsified studies to make something appear to be ok, and political haggling over what constitutes “safe.”

    At the dawn of the industrial revolution, people were just TECHNOLOGY AWESOME, PROFITS GOOD, DO IT NOW, without even the pretense of the nod towards health and safety we attempt now. The levels of heavy metals and other containments in the ground, water supply, and food chain are all humanity’s doing.

    • Synapse October 14, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

      It’s not like they were a shining example of health before then. They had plenty of things killing them from living in various kinds of filth and squalor, and they definitely didn’t have that much industrialization in the 17th century. You’re also assuming that those things you mentioned cause cancer when the rise in cancer is fully world wide and happens even in places that have none (or few) of those issues.

      • emperorreagan October 15, 2010 at 1:39 am #

        Pollution is a pretty global issue at this point – it’s hard to find pristine places. You can, however, see spikes in cancer rates in countries where the landscapes have been littered with toxins and spent munitions in wars during the past century. You see spikes in cancer rates in the vicinity of mining and industrial activity. And there are the other cancers that show a strong correlation to smoking, for example. There’s plenty of compelling evidence that there is a strong environmental component to many types of cancers. I wouldn’t argue that cancer is only only caused by environmental factors, but I think that those factors are significantly excluded in the public discussion of cancer (at least in current media discussion of cancer in the US).

        I’m also not a primitivist – I’d never argue that we should roll things back a thousand years. I would really like to see humanity learn a few lessons from history, though, and do a little more careful cost/benefit analysis and implementation than we did at the beginning of industrialization.

  2. emperorreagan October 14, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    Not surprising.

    Even in this era, where we supposedly care about safety, we still regularly see things rushed to market with inadequate testing, falsified studies to make something appear to be ok, and political haggling over what constitutes “safe.”

    At the dawn of the industrial revolution, people were just TECHNOLOGY AWESOME, PROFITS GOOD, DO IT NOW, without even the pretense of the nod towards health and safety we attempt now. The levels of heavy metals and other containments in the ground, water supply, and food chain are all humanity’s doing.

  3. VoxMagi October 14, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    Look for that trend to continue…this’ll be Planet Cancer before anyone gets the nerve to suggest that maybe not stewing in toxic waste from birth would contribute to general well being and health. I know its a pretty radical idea right now…but maybe someone will take a few notes and bring it up again in 100 years when everyone gets cancer before they finish puberty and the few survivors are the only ones who live long enough to breed.

  4. VoxMagi October 14, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    Look for that trend to continue…this’ll be Planet Cancer before anyone gets the nerve to suggest that maybe not stewing in toxic waste from birth would contribute to general well being and health. I know its a pretty radical idea right now…but maybe someone will take a few notes and bring it up again in 100 years when everyone gets cancer before they finish puberty and the few survivors are the only ones who live long enough to breed.

  5. Synapse October 14, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    It’s not like they were a shining example of health before then. They had plenty of things killing them from living in various kinds of filth and squalor, and they definitely didn’t have that much industrialization in the 17th century. You’re also assuming that those things you mentioned cause cancer when the rise in cancer is fully world wide and happens even in places that have none (or few) of those issues.

  6. J Piatt October 14, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

    Note that they said “virtual” absence.
    If you’ve got a disease that appears randomly in 1 out of every 10,000 people, and your population is 9,000, is it possible to have zero instances? Of course. If you skew your probabilities by adding in decreased chances for lower age groups, and a lower total lifespan, would you be surprised to never find it?
    “Virtual” absence isn’t absence; that there are any cases flies in the face of what they’re trying to imply. More egomaniacs shepherding idiots.

  7. J Piatt October 14, 2010 at 11:05 pm #

    Note that they said “virtual” absence.
    If you’ve got a disease that appears randomly in 1 out of every 10,000 people, and your population is 9,000, is it possible to have zero instances? Of course. If you skew your probabilities by adding in decreased chances for lower age groups, and a lower total lifespan, would you be surprised to never find it?
    “Virtual” absence isn’t absence; that there are any cases flies in the face of what they’re trying to imply. More egomaniacs shepherding idiots.

  8. Donovan Moore October 14, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    i got an idea how to get rid of cancer. Let’s just print up a bunch of pink t-shirts. that should do it. it has nothing to do with all the corporate genetically modified food we eat. A Pink Campaign should do it, yep.

  9. Donovan Moore October 15, 2010 at 1:58 am #

    i got an idea how to get rid of cancer. Let’s just print up a bunch of pink t-shirts. that should do it. it has nothing to do with all the corporate genetically modified food we eat. A Pink Campaign should do it, yep.

  10. emperorreagan October 15, 2010 at 5:39 am #

    Pollution is a pretty global issue at this point – it’s hard to find pristine places. You can, however, see spikes in cancer rates in countries where the landscapes have been littered with toxins and spent munitions in wars during the past century. You see spikes in cancer rates in the vicinity of mining and industrial activity. And there are the other cancers that show a strong correlation to smoking, for example. There’s plenty of compelling evidence that there is a strong environmental component to many types of cancers. I wouldn’t argue that cancer is only only caused by environmental factors, but I think that those factors are significantly excluded in the public discussion of cancer (at least in current media discussion of cancer in the US).

    I’m also not a primitivist – I’d never argue that we should roll things back a thousand years. I would really like to see humanity learn a few lessons from history, though, and do a little more careful cost/benefit analysis and implementation than we did at the beginning of industrialization.

  11. mistertwilight October 15, 2010 at 3:40 am #

    You don’t have to reach that far back to find cancer-free populations. Many letters from 19th century missionary doctors marvel at the absence of ‘malignacy’ (and the absence of many maladies) in the populations they served.
    Albert Schweitzer saw 20-30 patients per day, and in his 41st year of serving as missionary doctor in Africa he witnessed his first case of appendicitis. Regarding cancer he never proposed that the Africans were cancer free but he did write that he never saw it.
    Actually all of the major chronic diseases today have a similar story- from obesity, heart disease, diabetes, alzheimers, cancer, gout, arthritis, asthma, dental caries (cavities) and others.
    The Western diet has been blamed for the ‘diseases of civilization’ – specifically flour and sugar.

  12. mistertwilight October 15, 2010 at 7:40 am #

    You don’t have to reach that far back to find cancer-free populations. Many letters from 19th century missionary doctors marvel at the absence of ‘malignacy’ (and the absence of many maladies) in the populations they served.
    Albert Schweitzer saw 20-30 patients per day, and in his 41st year of serving as missionary doctor in Africa he witnessed his first case of appendicitis. Regarding cancer he never proposed that the Africans were cancer free but he did write that he never saw it.
    Actually all of the major chronic diseases today have a similar story- from obesity, heart disease, diabetes, alzheimers, cancer, gout, arthritis, asthma, dental caries (cavities) and others.
    The Western diet has been blamed for the ‘diseases of civilization’ – specifically flour and sugar.

  13. oman28 October 15, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    “what if cancer never was something a drug could cure you of but a civilization wake-up call instead?”
    Phillip Day
    This guy believes cancer is entirely preventable and I think he is right. I would recomend his book “Health Wars’ to anyone

    http://www.credencegroup.co.uk/Eclub/Eclubsearchable2/130309/CTM-canceracoutionarytale.htm

  14. Anonymous October 15, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    “what if cancer never was something a drug could cure you of but a civilization wake-up call instead?”
    Phillip Day
    This guy believes cancer is entirely preventable and I think he is right. I would recomend his book “Health Wars’ to anyone

    http://www.credencegroup.co.uk/Eclub/Eclubsearchable2/130309/CTM-canceracoutionarytale.htm

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