Cancer Among Mammalian Species: Similarities, Differences, and Connections in Cancer Progression between Humans and Domestic Animals

Leah Browne


Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide in not only humans, but companion animals as well. Differences in how cancer develops in species have been reported. For example, case studies have proven that canines are not as susceptible to lung cancers stemming from second-hand smoke exposure, unlike humans. Similar findings have been found with rats, documenting that they cannot spontaneously develop melanoma like canines or humans. Gut microbiomes hold an important role in the future of connecting cancer between different mammalian species and age plays a universal role in the prevalence and onset of cancers among these species. Despite the fact that cancer may never be fully eliminated, reports show that companion animals can aid in the health and longevity of their owners and vice versa. The further development of veterinary oncology could not only increase the knowledge base on animals, but help piece together the puzzle of cancer across the board. 

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