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Ovarian Teratoma: Tumor That Has Teeth Discovered In Church Graveyard At Lisbon, Portugal

By N. Gutierrez staff@sciencetimes.com | May 31, 2017 07:20 PM EDT

An ovarian tumor was discovered in a church graveyard in Lisbon, Portugal last 2011. The teratoma was identified to be an ovarian teratoma that has at least five malformed teeth, which consisted of four molars and one canine engraved in it.

According to Live Science, the ovarian teratoma which measured 1.7 inches (4.3 cm) was discovered in an excavation 42 burials outside the Church and Convent of Carmo in Lisbon last 2010 and 2011. The tumor was said to be found near the pelvic area of a woman, who died at around her forties.

Study leader Sofia Wasterlain of the Portugal's University of Coimbra then stated some of their speculations about what the Ovarian Teratoma may really be. Some of what the team discussed is that it may be a dead fetus or a result from an ectopic pregnancy, which calcified inside a woman’s body. Yet, after examining the tumor, it was deemed to be an ovarian teratoma.

Moreover, the ovarian teratoma was seen to be buried in the Church and Convent of Carmo. The church was identified to be used since the 1400s until 1775. As the scientific date of the woman’s skeleton isn’t known, it was concluded that she lived in that eras. The report about the study was published in the International Journal of Paleopathology entitled "Ovarian Teratoma: A Case From 15th-18th Century Lisbon, Portugal" as Opposing Views reported.

"This case also draws attention to the importance of conducting meticulous archaeological excavation in order to preserve rare, but significant findings. During the excavation of human remains, materials from body cavities, which may provide clues not directly accessible from the skeleton, should always be sought and recovered with care," the researchers wrote in the study papers about the ovarian teratoma.

However, the discovered Ovarian Teratoma in Portugal was said to be the second in its case. The first tumor with teeth was found at a Roman necropolis in Spain last 2013. Archaeologists said that they had discovered a woman’s remains that showed the 1,600-year-old calcified tumor in her pelvis. The largest teratoma was said to measure 18 inches by 10 inches, which is removed from a 74-year-old woman.

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