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Certain Dog Breeds Have a Higher Likelihood of Getting Cancer, New Study Says

A study published earlier this week in Royal Society Open Science highlighted findings surrounding dogs and cancer

<p>Getty</p> Dogs.

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Dogs.

Certain dog breeds have a higher likelihood of getting cancer, a new study suggests.

Earlier this week, a study published in Royal Society Open Science highlighted which dog breeds are more likely to develop cancer, and also detailed whether the size of the dog makes a difference in developing the illness.

Leonard Nunney, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Riverside, and the lead author of the paper, told ABC News that some of the breeds that are more likely to develop cancer in their lifetimes are flat-coated retrievers, Bernese mountain dogs and Westies.

<p>Getty</p> Dog.

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Dog.

Related: Missing Dog Belonging to Cancer Survivor Found After Week Lost in Extreme Cold in Canada

According to the research, it is not always larger dog breeds that tend to have a higher risk of getting cancer.

Nunney also told the outlet that while humans tend to develop cancer as their bodies increase in size, the same cannot be said for dogs.

"You have things that range in size from a chihuahua up to a mastiff, or a Great Dane," he said. "So there's a huge range of size."

Noting that big dogs typically die when they are of a younger age, Nunney said that larger canines actually have less of a risk of developing cancer than small or medium-sized dogs, given that they don't live as long.

"That's simply because they're dying younger," the researcher told ABC News.

<p>Getty</p> Dog.

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Dog.

Related: Dog with Terminal Cancer Treated to Early Christmas Celebration Filled with His Favorite Things

The findings and model used within the study, Nunney added, can help determine whether specific breeds are more prone to a particular cancer.

"Dogs are an extremely good model for understanding the genetic changes that may lead to a higher susceptibility of specific cancers," he said.

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