One of the tropes that I keep reading in the vastness of the internet is that cancer is a modern disease. People keep claiming that cancer is caused by the modern diet, modern chemicals, modern lifestyle, modern agriculture, modern everything.
These trope-pushers want us to believe that our ancestors of just a few hundred years ago never got cancer because they lived some sort of magical life that avoided cancer. Well, of course, many of those people died of infectious diseases that we prevent with vaccines today, so I’m not sure their lives were so magical. And they died before they could develop cancer.
If one is going to make an extraordinary claim like “modern cancer is a man-made disease,” well I expect extraordinary evidence to support that claim. A paper published a few years ago made the claim that cancer was rare in Egyptians based on what has been seen in mummies. Let’s take a look at that, but also examine the evidence of whether cancer is a modern disease or as ancient as the earliest multicellular organisms crawling out of the ocean hundreds of millions of years ago.Continue reading “Cancer is not a modern disease — it’s been around since the dinosaurs”