Home Health Ailments Some Human Cancers Found to Be ‘Evolutionary Accidents’

Some Human Cancers Found to Be ‘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.

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 types of cancers unique to humans may be a result of evolutionary accidents.

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.

Blood cancers

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 blood cancers (lymphomas and leukaemia), and there are some types of cancer that seem to be unique to humans, like lung cancer, prostate, and testicular cancers.

These could be evolutionary accidents, a product of random events in the evolution of our species, Dr. De Magalhaes, said:

Another hypothesis is that the increasing life expectancy of humans is allowing the appearance of cancers that would not have affected our ancestors.

Cultural changes and technological advances

First author Thales Albuquerque said:

Dr. De Magalhaes added:

Provided by: University of Liverpool [Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.]

Like this article? Subscribe to our weekly email for more!     

Troy Oakes
Troy was born and raised in Australia and has always wanted to know why and how things work, which led him to his love for science. He is a professional photographer and enjoys taking pictures of Australia's beautiful landscapes. He is also a professional storm chaser where he currently lives in Hervey Bay, Australia.

Most Popular

William Stanton, a Retired American Diplomat Who Is in Love With Taiwan 

William Stanton, former director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and current Vice President of the National Yang Ming University, remained in Taiwan...

New Report Highlights North Korea’s Persecution of Religious Believers

A recent report by the Korea Future Initiative has brought attention to the horrible religious rights violations taking place in North Korea. Titled Persecuting...

New Insights on Health Effects of Space Flight

The historic NASA Twins Study investigated identical twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly and provided new information on the health effects of spending time...

Wang Youqun: Will Trump Eventually Win the 2020 Election? (Part 1)

The following is an opinion article and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or position of Vision Times. On November 7, Joe Biden, the Democratic...