Wars, plagues, and disasters caused a great deal of suffering, but now research shows that medieval Britain was no stranger to another scourge: cancer.
According to Cancer Research UK About 50% of people in the UK Born after 1960, they receive cancer screening during their lifetime. However, such diseases were considered relatively rare in the Middle Ages.
Experts now say that bone marrow transplantation, which began in the sixth to 16th centuries, is about 10 times more likely than previously thought.
“Many people have said in the past that cancer is not really a rare disease,” explains Dr. Pierce Mitchell University of Cambridge, Co-author of the study.
Writing in Cancer Magazine, Mitchell and colleagues reported excavations, X-rays and CT scans of 96 men, 46 women and an unidentified man found at six cemeteries in and around Cambridge.
We had leftovers from the poor people in the city, we were rich people living in the city, we had a fear of Augustine in the city and we had a hospital, so we were a real mix of the different types of people we met in the Middle Ages. Life, ”said Michelle, adding that the remains included those who farmed.
As fossils have been around for centuries, Michelle points out that the conditions, lifespan, and cancer risk of individuals are similar, meaning that bones can be collected and analyzed.
The group focused on the spine, limbs, and legs, and, according to Michel, they are more likely to develop cancer if they move to the bones. The results showed that five individuals had cancer, one of which showed symptoms of leukemia. They were all middle-aged or older.
After considering CT scans to determine the extent of bone cancer as well as the symptoms of this type of spread, the team estimated that between 9% and 14% of the population had such a disease. They died.
That is far below the 1% previously estimated by archaeologists, according to the team.
Although the new research has limitations, including a small sample size, the figures may be smaller, according to Michel. Not all bone types have been analyzed, but cancer-affected bones are less likely to survive over time. The group also excluded bones that could cause cancer, such as insect bites or other bacterial infections.
Three to four times the prevalence of cancer in our time could be attributed to increased life expectancy, tobacco use, increased industrial pollution, and increased travel and population, the group said. To spread DNA-damaging viruses.
Today, with the proliferation of cancer treatments, Mitchell said that in medieval Britain, people with the disease had a few options: painkillers may only be available to those who can afford them, and poles or beverages may be used.
“It was too small [doctors] He said that would have been really useful.