11

votes

Does cancer exist in the wild?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created December 14, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Assuming that humans and animals who eat grain-based foods can get cancer, and also that exposure to industrial toxins can do the same, is there any evidence that cancer doesn't exist in living creatures who eat a diet suited to their own species?

1e36119906da54831601a7c23674f581

(698)

on March 12, 2012
at 11:22 PM

Not this again. "For millennia, the majority of humankind didn't make it past 30". This is just completely wrong. And no, living three times as long does not mean you're three times as likely to contract diseases. It's just not that simple.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on December 15, 2011
at 10:49 AM

My understanding is that we all have cancer cells, so the potential for developing cancer is always there. Human adult stem cells of all tissue types can go "rogue". It's the "terrain" you maintain via diet, lifestyle, toxins that leads to it flaring up and invading. (inflammation).

0bf4aaa16b8532ca8fb773d86900d153

(203)

on December 14, 2011
at 11:45 PM

there is no real wilderness anymore. There everywhere can be cancer nowdays!

0bf4aaa16b8532ca8fb773d86900d153

(203)

on December 14, 2011
at 11:41 PM

http://www.mtq.gouv.qc.ca/portal/page/portal/Librairie/Images/En/ministere/environnement/climat/fluct3_en.jpg there is a lot pollution. so its aint real prestine wildlife.

0bf4aaa16b8532ca8fb773d86900d153

(203)

on December 14, 2011
at 11:39 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Lawrence_River Hi mathew! just look up. a big polluting ship. This is wildlife. MAD world.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 14, 2011
at 08:24 PM

In the wild? Or on crappy dog food diets?

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on December 14, 2011
at 05:26 PM

dogs get cancer...rotty's are notorious for stomach cancer

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on December 14, 2011
at 05:05 PM

Good question +1

7d64d3988de1b0e493aacf37843c5596

(2861)

on December 14, 2011
at 02:20 PM

It used to be claimed that sharks were one of very few animals that did not get cancer (but while pretty rare it does still exist in sharks), so probably all animals get cancer to some degree.

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

5 Answers

4
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on December 14, 2011
at 05:02 PM

Yes it does though it is obviously not easy to measure how much.

Wildlife Faces Cancer Threat

In certain situations, cancer threatens the survival of entire species. The Tasmanian devil, the world's largest carnivorous marsupial, is at risk of extinction due to a cancer known as devil facial tumor disease. This form of contagious cancer spreads between individual Tasmanian devils through direct contact (primarily fighting and biting). To save the species from this fatal disease, conservationists are relocating cancer-free Tasmanian devils to geographically isolated areas or zoos.

Many species living within polluted aquatic environments suffer high rates of cancerous tumors, and studies strongly suggest links between wildlife cancers and human pollutants. For example, the study cites the case of beluga whales in the St. Lawrence River system. These whales have an extraordinarily high rate of intestinal cancer, which is their second leading cause of death. One type of pollutant in these waters???polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (or PAHs)???is a well-known carcinogen in humans, and PAHs are suspected carcinogens for beluga whales as well. Fish in other industrialized waterways, including brown bullhead catfish and English sole, also exhibit high levels of cancer.

Virus-induced cancers can affect the ability of some wildlife populations to reproduce. Genital tumors in California sea lions on North America's western coast occur at much higher rates than previously documented. Oceanic dolphin species, such as the dusky dolphin and Burmeister's porpoise (both found in the coastal waters of South America), are also showing higher rates of genital carcinomas.

I think it is harder to find out how just how many wild animals living in pristine pollution free wilderness develop or die of cancer because these animals will be eaten by carnivores, scavengers or insects before before any scientist gets to have a look at them.

Cases of cancer visible on the animals skin such as in the case of the Tasmanian Devil's are much easier to identify but most cancers are internal and much harder to identify in wild animals.

0bf4aaa16b8532ca8fb773d86900d153

(203)

on December 14, 2011
at 11:39 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Lawrence_River Hi mathew! just look up. a big polluting ship. This is wildlife. MAD world.

0bf4aaa16b8532ca8fb773d86900d153

(203)

on December 14, 2011
at 11:41 PM

http://www.mtq.gouv.qc.ca/portal/page/portal/Librairie/Images/En/ministere/environnement/climat/fluct3_en.jpg there is a lot pollution. so its aint real prestine wildlife.

2
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 14, 2011
at 11:22 PM

Yeah, lots of animals get cancer! Anything with cells that split are probably capable of getting cancer, but the rates vary wildly across species. I'm from the boonies of British Columbia in BC, and I remember when cat leukemia was a really big problem for the local cougar population. It was from a virus, I suppose, because they would tranquilize the cougars and vaccinate them. The problem seems to have lessened significantly, because we used to see weak, undernourished cougars wandering into town to look for food (wasting from the cancer), but once the vaccination rates were up, I think I've only seen a couple cougars since, and they were very robust and far from town. Lots of rodents are also susceptible to cancer. Rats are very sensitive to developing tumors.

2
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on December 14, 2011
at 04:05 PM

Most animals in the wild probably don't live long enough to get cancer, much less other degenerative diseases like failing eyesight, arthritis, etc.

For millennia, the majority of humankind didn't make it past 30. It's only until relatively recently that our lifespans have tripled, thereby tripling the chances that something along the line will go "wrong" with our bodies. Adding in pollution and crappy food only increases these odds.

1e36119906da54831601a7c23674f581

(698)

on March 12, 2012
at 11:22 PM

Not this again. "For millennia, the majority of humankind didn't make it past 30". This is just completely wrong. And no, living three times as long does not mean you're three times as likely to contract diseases. It's just not that simple.

2
Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on December 14, 2011
at 02:45 PM

Tasmanian devils get a contagious kind of cancer. (Just goes to show you shouldn't share your food.)

http://boingboing.net/2011/08/18/tasmanian-devils-and-contagious-cancer.html

1
4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on December 14, 2011
at 02:33 PM

Yes, and in some species it can be somewhat prevalent. That's probably got more to do with unusual circumstances, like epidemic viruses or genetic mutations. Overall, I don't think there is so much of it. But, I too would be interested in seeing more (good) information about this. If you just look at humans eating a "wild" diet, there is some evidence that cancer is very rare. For example, various explorers and scientists (e.g., Westin Price, Schweitzer, Stefansson, etc) spent lots of time with primitive tribes (e.g., inuit) and claim to have seen little or no cancer.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!