Ministry of Antiquities
Evidenced in Egypt : the oldest breast cancer in the world
Antiquities Minister, Dr. Mamdouh el-Damaty announces the discovery of the oldest evidence of breast cancer in the world. This discovery was made along the seventh archaeological season carried out by University of Jaen (Spain) in the necropolis of Qubbet el-Hawa (West Asuan). 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 shows the typical destructive damages provoked by the extension of a breast cancer as a metastasis in the bones.
The team from University of Jaen has confirmed that the woman lived at the end of the 6th Dynasty (2200 BCE) 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 during a long period until her death.
The University of Jaen began the archaeological excavations in Qubbet el-Hawa in 2008 and their major goal is to reconstruct the life and funerary rituals of the governors of Elephantine and their families who lived between 2250 and 1750 BCE. Thus, the team directed by Dr. Alejandro Jiménez belongs to different disciplines among them Physic Anthropology plays a key 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 (Kenia, Mexico, France, Colombia, Peru, etc.).