Tumour With Teeth Found in Renaissance-Era Graveyard

Tumour With Teeth Found in Renaissance-Era Graveyard

An ovarian tumor (teratoma) containing at least five teeth, and possibly some bone fragments, has been dug up in a graveyard in Lisbon, Portugal.

Teratomas are a type of cyst that form from immature egg cells in the ovaries. Although usually benign, some can be cancerous, while others grow large enough to do serious damage. They are distinguished by the fact that they resemble derivatives of more than one primary layer of cells. This can give them the nightmarish feature of containing what look like normal body parts within the tumor – most often hair or teeth, but sometimes eyes, hands or feet.

During 2010-2011, 42 bodies buried outside the Church and Convent of Carmo, Lisbon, were excavated. The graveyard was used from the early 15th century until the earthquake of 1755 destroyed the church. The 4.3-centimeter (1.7 inches) teratoma was found near the pelvic area of a woman estimated to have been 45 years old when she died. At this stage, researchers have been unable to date her death more precisely than being within the three and a half centuries of the graveyard's use.

 

Read more from IFL Science: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/tumor-with-teeth-found-in-renaissanceera-graveyard/

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