Contagious Cancers

Cancers are made from a person's own cells going rogue. If a cell acquires the right combination of mutations or changes in its genetic code, it can divide uncontrollably and lead to the formation of a tumour. As these cells contain a unique individual's DNA, if they were to end up in another person's body, they should sound the immune alarm, be recognised as foreign and destroyed - much like an Incompatible organ transplant. Some viruses, like the human papilloma virus or HPV, can also cause cancer by triggering changes in a cells genetic code and promoting tumour formation. In these cases,... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists