Researchers surprised to find tumor evidence in Neanderthal bone

“… as they were not exposed to toxins, pollution, radiation and unhealthy diets.”

“This case shows that Neanderthals, living in an unpolluted environment, were susceptible to the same kind of cancer as living humans.”

Cancer is primarily a disease of aging. We see more of it today because, among other things including heightened detection abilities, people are living longer.


  1. Why would we be surprised that Neanderthals had cancer? Many species of animals develop cancer; humans of earlier periods would be vulnerable as well. It does seem likely that only a few Neanderthals lived long enough to develop cancer.
    It’s also possible that cancer has been more widespread in younger populations than we realize. A lot of kids and teens died in “the good old days” and we often know almost nothing about what happened to them. I’m sure some died of leukemia, valve heart disease, and an array of other problems that couldn’t be diagnosed with the science of their day.

  2. many cancers are caused by virus and possibly bacteria or other natural causes. they could have also been living in a radioactive cave!


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