Is cancer, just like climate change is claimed to be, really 'man-made'?
Michael Zimmerman a visiting professor at Manchester University says that "The virtual absence of malignancies in mummies must be interpreted as indicating their rarity in antiquity. This indicates that cancer-causing factors are limited to societies affected by modern industrialisation".
Reported in the Mail the research indicates that cancer was virtually unknown in ancient times with the Greeks being the first to label it as a specific disease in its own right. They even managed to break it down further into benign and malign types.
Studies of fossils, mummified tissue from Egypt and Neanderthal bones has thrown up scant evidence of the disease, which seems to back this theory up somewhat.
It seems though that it was the 17th century that saw the rise of cancer with breast cancer surgery and the first reports of tumours.
Michael Zimmerman's co -researcher Professor Rosalie David says that the natural environment will not normally cause cancer "So it has to be down to pollution and changes to diet and lifestyle" she said.
Dr Rachel Thompson from the World Cancer Research Fund says that exercise, a good healthy diet and weight management could prevent a third of the commonest forms of cancer.
What though is not clearly explained is the relationship between age and cancer and whether this has a large part to play in the findings. As I understand it cancer is relatively rare amongst the young and, as our mortality rate is far superior to the bulk ancient world, maybe this isn't as surprising as first indicated.
Bit there is a lot of research that shows that certain things we do and use in the modern world do cause cancer or maybe depress the immune system enough for it to take hold. Certain types ofÂ asbestos and smoking springs to mind.
But, as the climate change lobby always want us to do, maybe we should take action just in case. After all there's nothing to lose is there? Apart from a few pounds in weight and a change in lifestyle maybe.
Oh, and lost profits for processed foods manufacturers and the pharmaceutical industry and medical equipment suppliers as well as many health practitioners.