The details about the case we are about to discuss merely point out that scientists have discovered that among Tasmania devils, cancer is contagious and can be transmitted through a simple bite. Another DFTD case confirms that cancer is transmissible.
Over the past few years, several Tasmanian devils have been exhibiting strange cancer-like symptoms. Of course, researchers have presumed that these cases are isolated and that there is no need to investigate them further.
However, recently, another group of researchers has taken another look at the infected Tasmanian devils, which exhibit all signs and symptoms of cancer. Moreover, all the infected carnivorous mammals had large tumors growing on their faces. Due to the severity of the disease, the animal would be struck down in a matter of days.
Furthermore, not only is this type of facial cancer so deadly, according to the researchers, it can be transmitted from Tasmanian devil to Tasmanian devil through a simple bite. The first occurrence of this disease among the devils’ population dates back to 1996.
Back then, the researchers assigned to the case noted that all animals had rather large facial tumors. Some of the would die before the disease had a chance to kill them. Scientists explained that the tumors were so large in size that eating and drinking were very difficult.
The second occurrence of this disease was in 2014 when scientists managed to learn more about this strange illness named devil facial tumor disease. According to their observation, the Tasmanian devil population had lost almost 89 percent of its pack members in what can be viewed as a full-fledged cancer epidemic.
Another DFTD case confirms that cancer is transmissible. In humans, there are a few cases in which cancer can be transmitted from person to person, although these are very rare cases. There are ample studies which recollect how humans can literally become infected with cancer after receiving an organ from another infected person. Also, it has been known, for some time now, that a mother suffering from cancer can transmit the disease to her child.
Coined DFT2, this type of cancer is very different from the first discovered variant, DFT1. DFT2 possess an extra Y chromosome, meaning that it was probably transmitted by a male carrier. As explained by the scientists, cancer gains the ability of transmission, when the cancer cells develop the ability to spread beyond the host’s body.
Doctor Pye, a scientist working on the project, said that presently there are approximately 8 Tasmanian devils who exhibit symptoms consistent with DFTD.