When It Comes to Canine Cancer Risk, Size Matters

Medium-size dogs appear to be the most vulnerable.


For every four inches over average height, a person’s baseline risk for developing cancer rises by 10 percent, according to research conducted by Leonard Nunney, PhD, a professor in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology at the University of California, Riverside. There are a number of possible reasons, but much of the thinking behind the finding is that within any one species, the bigger you are, the more cells you have, and the more chance for them to mutate into cancerous forms when dividing and multiplying. Thus, if your baseline risk for cancer is 20 percent, for instance, it goes up 10 percent to a 22 percent risk if you’re 4 inches above average height.

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