New research, published in Biological Reviews and conducted by researchers from the University of Liverpool and Escola Superior de Ciências da Saúde (Brasília, Brazil) has found some type of cancers unique to humans may be a result of evolutionary accidents.
Cancer is a major cause of death worldwide. But humans are not the only species affected by cancer; in fact, only a few primitive animals are thought to escape the disease. Furthermore, incidence rates and cancer types differ widely among species. However, how cancer patterns in humans compare to those of other species remains largely unknown.
Researchers, led by Dr Joao Pedro De Magalhaes from the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, aimed to identify further clues about cancer and its evolutionary underpinnings in humans and across a wide range of animals by conducting the largest survey of animal cancer data to date.
The researchers began examining data relating to primates then continued onto other mammals before examining cancer in birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish and finally invertebrates and plants. They then reviewed the cancer incidence and types for humans and animal types.
They found that some types of cancer are widespread across nearly all species, like
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