December 9, 2022

Wire Service Canada

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Pregnant Egyptian mummy, possible signs of a skull tumor

Possible signs of a tumor have been discovered in the famous pregnant Egyptian mummy nicknamed “The Mysterious Lady,” which was found in Thebes in the early 19th century and is now in the Warsaw National Museum in Poland. Radiographs and CT scans of the skull show bone abnormalities consistent with a nasopharyngeal tumor, a possible cause of death for the young woman. Researchers in the Warsaw Mummy Project are posting this on their blog, announcing that during the year they will be conducting new histological, genetic and molecular investigations into soft tissues to deepen diagnosis.

The results will therefore help to solve the mystery of the mummy, which dates back to the first century BC and was mysteriously found in the sarcophagus of the priest: its identity has only been clarified thanks to scientific research carried out since 2015.

The latest X-ray and computerized tomography images have revealed abnormalities in some craniofacial bones, even behind the left eye: according to the researchers, these signs could be consistent with those of a tumor affecting the nose and throat. It is especially prevalent in Africa and East Asia. Studying it in an ancient mummy, dating back to an era when there were no risk factors such as smoking cigarettes or spirits, will help to better understand the mechanisms behind the disease.

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