Cancer incidence in humans is currently on the rise, and much of this increase has been linked with changes in diet and lifestyle, as well as exposure to pollutants.
Human activity is causing many wildlife species to also experience changes in diet and habitat, but how this affects cancer rates has not been as well explored.
The scientists provide a summary of the mechanisms by which humans are inducing cancer in other animals.
Environmental contaminants disrupt cell growth through a variety of mechanisms, including DNA damage, interference with immune function, and disruption of hormonal balance.
One study showed that 27% of beluga whales in the highly polluted Saint Lawrence Estuary in Canada had cancer.
Meanwhile, radionucleotide contamination from the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 has been linked to increased tumours in local birds.
ALAN is linked with elevated cancer risk in humans, most likely through disruption of key hormones vital to sleep regulation and cancer suppression. »