Did Cancer Exist in the Middle Ages?

My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2001, a few months after my mom had a hysterectomy for uterine cancer.  In 2007, my dad was diagnosed with a second (unrelated) cancer–something horrible called lyposarcoma with a 15 pound tumor in his abdomen. A month after my father died in 2011, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, her second (unrelated) cancer. How common was cancer in the past?  If cancer is more common now than before it could be because: 1)  we’ve polluted our environment 2)  we live longer than in the past, so we die from things we wouldn’t have had the chance to die from in the Middle Ages 3)  we’ve circumvented natural selection with our advances in medicine so we are frailer than in the past (my entire family might have died from appendicitis before reproducing, Read more…