Signs of cancer are found on the bones of mummies from ancient Egypt and Peru dating back as far as 3000 BC. 1
The Edwin Smith Papyrus, which is the oldest written description of cancer known to exist, describes eight cases of breast tumors or ulcers in Egypt that were treated with cauterization. However, the document also states that there is no treatment for cancer. The original document, written in 3000 BC, was acquired in 1862 by Edwin Smith at Luxor, Egypt.2 3 4
- 1. Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. Accessed 13-17 June. 2005 [http://www.eb.com]
- 2. Morton, Leslie T., and Moore, Robert J. A Chronology of Medicine and Related Sciences. Aldershot, England: Scholar Press, 1997
- 3. The American Cancer Society Inc., "The History of Cancer." 25 Mar. 2002. 13-17 Accessed October 2010 [http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerBasics/TheHistoryofCancer/the-history-of-cancer-cancer-causes-theories-throughout-history]
- 4. Udwadia, Farokh Erach. Man and Medicine: A History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.