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In April 2021, researchers found that the Egyptian mummy nicknamed the “Mysterious Lady” had a fetus in her womb. More than a year later, teams from the Warsaw Mummy Project revealed that the 1st century BC remains suffered from cancer. A first in the observation of this type of dead.
Polish researchers announced that they discovered that the first pregnant Egyptian mummy in history had cancer. In a statement published on July 7, Professor Rafał Stec, from the Department of Oncology of the Warsaw University Faculty of Medicine, announced that the skull of the “Mysterious Lady” showed “significant defects” which could indicate that she was suffering from nasopharyngeal cancer. . This form of cancer affects the part of the throat that connects the back of the nose to the back of the mouth.
Images released by the Warsaw Mummy Project (WMP) in Poland show the skull of the deceased with lesions most likely caused by a malignant tumor. “First, we have unusual changes in the nasopharynx bones that, according to mummy experts, are not typical of the mummification process. Secondly, the views of radiologists based on computed tomography indicate the possibility of tumor changes in the bones, “said Rafał Stec. He added that the young age of the mummy and the absence of other injuries could indicate that his death was of “oncological cause”.
The “Mysterious Lady” is an Egyptian mummy kept in Warsaw, Poland, since 1826. Until April 2021, the body was presented as that of a priest of the gods Horus and Thoth. But by examining the mummy with a non-invasive scanner, the WMP archaeologists realized that she was actually a woman and that she was … pregnant. The footage showed the small leg of a fetus inside the mummy’s abdomen. The woman’s age was estimated to be between 20 and 30 at the time of her death. The fetus was between 26 and 30 weeks old.
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Scientists now plan to collect tissue samples to compare with those of Egyptian mummies with nasopharyngeal cancer. This type of cancer was not uncommon in ancient Egypt and there are several known cases. With these upcoming analyzes, they hope to determine whether the young woman also died from this disease.
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