Cancer has a significant impact on morbidity and mortality worldwide, with estimates reaching 18.1 million cases in 2018 alone. This chapter reviews the contributions of evolutionary medicine and palaeopathology to oncological research and addresses how these disciplines can conjointly develop models that evaluate how biological, ecological and sociocultural dynamics have prompted the development of cancer across deep time. It highlights that cancer has a long history affecting species across the tree of life, as well as being particularly pervasive in human populations today. While addressing recent advances in comparative oncology and palaeopathology, it discusses how novel environments may contribute to cancer risk in human and non-human populations under the light of the evolutionary and environmental mismatches. This work highlights the overlapping features of both disciplines with the aim to provide a new perspective on cancer.
Marques, Carina, Zachary Compton, and Amy M. Boddy, 'Connecting palaeopathology and evolutionary medicine to cancer research: past and present', in Kimberly A. Plomp, and others (eds), Palaeopathology and Evolutionary Medicine: An Integrated Approach (Oxford, 2022; online edn, Oxford Academic, 23 June 2022), https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198849711.003.0013
Palaeopathology and Evolutionary Medicine: An Integrated Approach