Neanderthal specimen showing the damage that a tumor caused

Scientists have analyzed fossilized ribs that found in Croatia, and they bear traces of a tumor. Since homo sapiens did not exist in Europe during this time, the rib must have belonged to a male Neanderthal or another prehistoric human who died 120,000 years ago.

It shows that cancer has been long time enemy of humans. Even when humanoid lifespan was much shorter and the time for cancer to develop is much shorter. And also when life existed in a completely naturally clean and toxin-free environment.

It is by far the oldest evidence for this type of disease. The previously oldest known skeleton cancer was found in Pharaonic Egypt. But these were just 4,000 years old.

The findings were published in the Public Library of Science.