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  • Cancer is a serious disease, but can I catch it by playing basketball with my friend who

  • has it? Of COURSE I can't. I never play basketball.

  • Sup guys, Trace here at the YouTube Space in Los Angeles. Just changing things up a

  • bit, trying some new things at DNews. I was being glib earlier, but it's not entirely

  • a joke. In the 90s, a lack of education about the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the U.S. saw

  • people believing they could contract the disease by sharing a basketball with Magic Johnson.

  • Now, some media outlets are repping the news that cancer might be contagious, but stop

  • worrying; in humans, cancer is definitely not contagious.

  • In the 1970s, the humble clam created quite a wash of press when it was discovered they

  • were developing leukemia at a fantastic rate. Researchers from Columbia University suggested

  • it wasn't a virus causing cancer, but that the CANCER ITSELF was contagious -- and they

  • were right! Contagious cancer is extremely rare. With a few exceptions, the cancer cells

  • themselves are host specific, meaning if an organism dies from cancer, the cancer dies

  • too.

  • Scientists found this new contagious cancer when they scooped up these maladapted molluscs

  • and tested their tumors; finding they were all the same genotype! The cells are clones!

  • They believe a sad little clam developed a type of cancer which, somehow, continues cell

  • division outside of the clam's body. The tumor cells divide and are swept away in the ocean

  • currents, occasionally encountering other clams, latching on and dividing more -- causing

  • cancerous tumors in previously unaffected clams. This is a clam nightmare scenario.

  • This is only the third time scientists have found contagious cancers; but don't worry,

  • none are primate-born. 11,000 years ago, genetic maladaptation in a dog evolved and was spread

  • to other dogs -- just like the clams, it somehow was able to jump from dog to dog and still

  • afflicts them to this day. Yes, dogs can catch cancer from each other. Canine Transmissible

  • Venereal Tumor (CTVT) was documented 200 years ago, and has been seen on dogs on every continent.

  • The cancer develops a cauliflower-shaped bleeding tumor on the dog's genitals. When the dogs

  • mate, or just hump, the tumor spreads like an STI and infects the new host, eventually

  • causing another tumor. Over the last 11,000 years, CTVT has evolved and lives as a parasite

  • in the dogs body, eventually disappearing -- that's not the case for the second type

  • of infectious cancer.

  • Tasmanian devils, which are real, not just a cartoon -- they don't even spin! You lied

  • to me Looney Tunes! Tasmanian Devils can catch cancer from their fellows, poor devils, when

  • they bite each other in competition over food. Devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) is an infectious

  • cancer which has somehow evolved a cloaking device as described by National Geographic.

  • The cancer cells lack a group of proteins which identify foreign cells to the immune

  • system called MHC -- without them the immune system doesn't attack, the cancer takes hold,

  • facial tumors develop and are so intense the animals can't eat -- causing death.

  • Cancer is a extraordinarily broad term for abnormal cell growth caused by unfortunate

  • genetic mutations in cells. You can increase the likelihood of errors by exposure to radiation,

  • smoking, stress, obesity, viruses, smoking, or other carcinogens; but as of yet there

  • are NO KNOWN CONTAGIOUS TUMORS in primates or humans; though bacteria like Helicobacter

  • pylori can increase the chances of developing stomach cancer; and a few of the strains of

  • HPV famously increase chances of cervical cancer. // GET VACCINATED // But, they're

  • not contagious cancers; they just make conditions more favorable to develop cancer.

  • What do you want to know more about? Have a science question? An Idea for a future show?

  • Let me know in the comments. And while you're thinking about tumors -- why not learn EXACTLY

  • what they are? Some are benign, some aren't and you might have one in you RIGHT NOW -- Julia

  • lays it all out in this video. Thanks for watching DNews!

Cancer is a serious disease, but can I catch it by playing basketball with my friend who

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B2 cancer contagious tumor clam causing tasmanian

Is Cancer Contagious?

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