It has become evident that paleo-oncological resources are limited and difficult to find. PRO strongly advocates the accessibility of information. It is only by sharing data, discussing observations, and forming collaborations that paleo-oncological research can move forward, and become a field that - when paired with modern cancer research - can change the current status of cancer worldwide.


This section will provide educational material on a variety of topics relevant to paleo-oncology, as well as videos and links to outside resources. PRO feels a responsibility and a desire to inform and educate the public about cancer in antiquity. We strive to make this introductory information accessible and relatable to non-specialists. These resources are intended to provide an introduction to the topics, and will be continually updated to provide new information on more topics.


...the study of skeletal populations can unlock an important source of knowledge about the presence of tumours in ancient populations. Epidemiologically, it contributes valuable observations to medical sciences that are of great help in the difficult task of understanding the origin and evolution of these diseases.


Assis and Codinha

Metastatic carcinoma in a 14th–19th century skeleton from Constância (Portugal), 2010


The pathology of a society reflects its general conditions and growth and offers, therefore, valuable clues to an understanding of the total society.’ In other words, the patterns of pathology may reveal cultural patterns which are not apparent from the archeological record.



Disease in Ancient Nubia, 1969

The Paleo-oncology Research Organization (PRO) operates under the third party fiscal administration of the Resilient Living Council, which is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization. Contributions to the Paleo-oncology Research Organization may be tax-deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. Please check with your personal tax advisor regarding the deduction of your gift.

PRO is a member of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, 2015. Content on the PRO website is available for personal use only. If content is downloaded, it must be for the sole purpose of viewing, or for "fair use" as defined in United States copyright law. Requests to publish PRO images must be submitted in writing to

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​© 2019 by Paleo-oncology Research Organization.


Paleo-oncology:  The study of cancer in antiquity