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The Patient Had Bone Cancer. The Diagnosis Arrived 240 Million Years Too Late.

(New York Times) Feb 7, 2019 - The fossil of an ancient animal teaches a sad lesson: Cancer has been around for a very, very long time. Certainly the patient never knew where the hip pain came from, or why its left leg stopped working. The diagnosis arrived only 240 million years later, when a femur turned up in an ancient lake bed in Germany, one side marred by a malignant bone tumor. Cancer seldom appears in the fossil record, and its history among vertebrates is poorly understood. On Thursday, a team of researchers writing in JAMA Oncology have described the femur as the oldest known case of cancer in an amniote, the group that includes reptiles, birds and mammals.

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H. Jack West, MD (Posted: February 08, 2019)

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"Paleo pathology" is cool. Cancer goes back to the Triassic period.

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