Lisbon Mummy
Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Unknown
Age Between 51 and 60 years old (at time of death)
Sex Male
Status unknown
Height 5 ft 5 in
Culture Ptolemaic
Date(s) 285BCE - 230BCE
Site not specified
Current Location
Location National Archaeological Museum of Lisbon, Portugal
Catalog # Unknown

The remains of a 2,200 year old Egyptian mummy showed that there was evidence of prostate cancer. The remains of the mummy were found wrapped in linen cloth and had its hands crossed over its chest, which often symbolizes the gender of the mummy.


The remains of this mummy was wrapped in linens and buried in a typical pose for Ptolemaic males. This pose consists of their arms crossed over their chest. There is no other specifications of his burial.


A professor Ikram at the American University of Cairo researched this mummy for two years in Lisbon. While at the National Archaeological Museum of Lisbon, Portugal, she was apart of the team who determined dense bone lesions on his pelvis and spine (Takeda, 2012) through digital imaging scans. This pattern of particularly round and very dense tumours spread from the mummy's pelvis to the lower back, lumbar spine, is an indicative metastatic prostate cancer (Reporter, 2012).


In this mummy, there was evidence of metastatic prostate cancer. Multiple bone lesions and tumours on his pelvis and lumbar spine indicated prostate cancer. It is believed that the prostate cancer was the cause of death (Lorenzi, 2011).


The researchers believe that based off of this finding that cancer could be genetic instead of the environment (Lorenzi, 2011). This is suggested since the environment was in a different state. A lack of pollution, food that is modified or has pesticides allows the theory based off this mummy that cancer is genetic (Takeda, 2012).

External Links


Reporter, D. M. (2012, January 31). 2,200-year-old Egyptian mummy had prostate cancer. Retrieved November 19, 2017, from

Takeda, A. (2012, January 31). 2,200-Year-Old Mummy Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer. Retrieved November 19, 2017, from

Kaur, R. (2015). How Old is Cancer?.

Lorenzi, R. (2011, November 02). Cancer Found in 2,000-Year-Old Mummy. Retrieved November 19, 2017, from

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.