Cancer Among Various Life FormsProfessor SwatskiBio 1019 December 2011By: Ahlaina Worden
Sea LionsThe disease typically starts around the penis in males and the cervix in females, then spreads. Inan average year, the Marine Mammal Center sees 15 to 20 California sea lions with cancer. Apost-mortem examination revealed not only cancer in the penis, but also tumors riddling thelymph nodes, lower spine, kidneys, liver and lungs. 18% of deaths in adult sea lions were theresult of tumors in the reproductive and urinary tracts (Chen).
BirdsGenetics play a role in the likelihood of cancer for all bird species. But trauma can alsobe a major factor. While tumor-like conditions occur in birds, is not technicallyclassified as a cancer, these conditions have a tendency to favor change, which makethem difficult to classify. Overall physical condition of a bird is also a determiningfactor. Obese parrots are more susceptible to cancer than those birds who eat nothingbut seed mix and birds who receive little exercise are more prone to tumors. Skincancers are also more likely with these overfed, under-exercised birds: Unhealthy skinwith a layer of fat underneath is a recipe for trouble (Pham).
Green TurtleCancer in green turtles have increased 92% , since the early 1980s. Reaching epic proportionsin some areas along the coasts of Florida, Hawaii, and Caribbean islands. Cancer adds to thelong list that is decreasing the turtle population. A few other factors are; over-hunting of theturtles, their eggs, and fishing accidents. Higher rates of cancer tend to be in bottom feedinganimals and fish. The potential dangers of pollution settling to the bottom of lakes andwaterways increases the risk of animals getting cancer (Lepisto).
SharksIf you were to walk into any health and nutrition store today, you would most likely find bottlesof shark cartilage pills. Advertised as having numerous cancer fighting agents. Shark cartilage isingested based on a belief that sharks do not get cancer. This is yet another shark myth. Just likehumans, sharks do get cancer and the number of documented cases of shark cancer is growingquickly. For the past 100 years, scientists have studied cancerous tumors in sharks. The first sharktumor was recorded in 1908. Scientists have since discovered benign and cancerous tumors in 18of the 1,168 species of sharks (“Shark Cartilage”).
MiceThere is still no cure for prostate cancer, but scientists may be getting very close to one. They saythey have developed a vaccine that destroys even advanced prostate tumors without any sideeffects. However it has only been tested in mice. The scientists from the Mayo Clinic in RochesterMinn. and at the University of Leeds in England - hope the treatment can one day work inhumans as well ( Van Dyke, et al).
Beluga WhaleOver a quarter of all the deaths of endangered adult beluga whales in Canadas Saint LawrenceEstuary are caused by cancer, local researchers have found. Such high rates of cancer areunprecedented in wild animals, apart from fish. Industrial pollution is the most likely cause,veterinary pathologists claim. The researchers found that cancer of the digestive tract, was thecause of death of 18% of juvenile belugas and 27% of the adults (Lepisto).
The South African Clawed ToadSpontaneous tumors may occasionally develop in the south african clawed toad. However, theyare extremely rare in natural and laboratory populations. They are less likely to developneoplasms (growths). The dramatic metamorphosis which amphibians go through is a veryunique process. During this process it is believed that the cancer protective agents are formed
SpiderBreast cancer cells may be destroyed by venom from poisonous spiders Australian researchersannounced Monday October 25,2011. This is big news because what if other venomous animalscan also, kill cancer cells in not just humans but other species. Spider venom molecules aredesigned to target very specific sites the researchers are hoping that some of these moleculeswill specifically target cancer cells (Shefchik).
Works CitedChen, Ingfei. “Cancer Kills Many Sea Lions, and It’s Cause Remains a Mystery.” NYTimes. New York Times, 5 Mar. 2010. Web. 2 Nov. 2011. <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/05/science/05sfsealion.html>Lepisto, Christine. “Cancer Threaten Wild Animal Populations.” Treehugger. Discovery Inc., 2009. Web. 2 Nov. 2011.<http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/cancers-threaten- wild-animal-populations.html>Pham, Angela. “Cancer in Birds: Genetics in Bird Species Play a Big Role in Liklihood of Cancer.” Bird Channel. BowTie, Inc., n.d. Web. 2 Nov. 2011. <http://www.birdchannel.com/bird- news/2008/11/25/cancer-in-birds.aspx>Ruben, L.N, R.H. Clothier. And M. Balls. “Cancer Resistance in Amphibian.”Alternatives to Laboratory Animals 35.5 (Oct. 2007): 463-70. Web. 2 Nov. 2011. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18001168>“Shark Cartilage.” American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society Inc., 1 Nov. 2008. Web. 2 Nov.2011. <http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandA lternativeMedicine/PharmacologicalandBiologicalTreatment/shark-cartilage>Shefchik, Claire. “Breast Cancer Researchers Test Spider Venom Treatment.” Boomer Health & Lifestyle:News You Need to Know Now. ThirdAge Media, LLC., 25 Oct. 2011. Web. 2 Nov. 2011. <http://www.thirdage.com/news/breast-cancer-researchers-test-spider-venom- treatment_10-25-2011>Van Dyke, Terry A., et al. “Mouse Cancer Genetics Program.” National Cancer Institute. National Cancer Institute, 8 Aug. 2011. Web. 2 Nov. 2011. <http://ccr.cancer.gov/Labs/lab.asp?labid=61>