Is cancer only a human disease? Is its cause due to civilization? If humanity disappeared, would cancer disappear too? The answer to all these questions is no. A resounding no. For about ten years it has been known that a species of trout called Plectropomus leopardus suffers from skin cancer. This type of fish lives in the so-called Great Barrier Reef, which is located just below a huge ozone hole. Ozone in the upper layers of the atmosphere, as we know, works as a protective cream against ultraviolet radiation from the sun; The lack of this gas causes a predisposition for the development of skin cancer not only in humans, but also in other animals such as coral trout.
There hasn’t always been cancer on Earth. In fact, disease appears, like death, with multicellular organisms. All multicellular organisms can suffer from cancer. Only single-celled organisms are saved. You need to be a multicellular living being to have cancer. It is in this type of structure where the uncontrolled proliferation characteristic of cancer occurs. But it is not necessary to have many cells to suffer from it. You also don’t have to be an animal to suffer from tumors. Plants suffer from cancer.
Plant tumors are different. So, They do not produce metastases, they are more local: Because the cells do not move along the plant, tumors are characterized by a local growth like a lump, for example, on the crest of a cactus. Since they do not produce metastasis, these tumors do not kill the plant that suffers from them. Plants also do not have vital organs, such as the brain or lung, which, when affected by cancer, endanger the life of the animal.
Plant cells have a more rigid structure, different from animal cells, which is called “wall” and which keeps them fixed in place and does not allow, in the event that a cell transforms into a tumor, it to travel or invade. to the neighboring ones. Furthermore, plant tumors are characterized by a excessive cell multiplication, but without invading neighboring cells or surrounding tissues. Plant tumors are caused by infections or trauma that cause structural damage. Among the infections, bacteria and fungi predominate, but they can also be infected by viruses.
As for animals, many of the creatures that inhabit the blue paradise can suffer from cancer. From the largest and most ancient ones, and before humans, like the dinosaurs, to the smallest ones like the hydra. Those who have searched systematically have found animals that are more susceptible and others more resistant to getting cancer, but No animal has been found safe from the disease.. Cancer occurs at staggeringly high rates and may be responsible for 40 percent of total deaths in multicellular animals across the spectrum from mollusks to mammals.