There is a common misconception that is believed that Sharks are immune to Cancer and all other diseases. Tragically this misconception is the reason that millions of sharks are killed each year for their fins for shark fin soup in the hope that it will make the person easting the soup immune to diseases also. Consequently, you are actually more likely to get sick from eating shark due to high mercury in the shark. Sharks are not immune to all diseases and this idea that sharks immune is not scientifically supported needs to stop.
Sharks, however, don’t get cancer very often, which is still very interesting and you can see how this misconception came to exist. Scientists have studied this phenomenon for many years, and found out why Sharks are in fact less prone to diseases.
Sharks don’t have bones; their body structure instead comes from cartilage, the same stiff material that gives our nose and ears their shapes. Bones are important in anatomy as they serve as the factories where immune cells are created, but there’s a lag time as the immune cells mature before being released into the bloodstream. For sharks, on the other hand, their immune cells, which are more primitive than ours, are created in the spleen and thymus. They’re released immediately into the bloodstream and mature while circulating, which may mean a faster reaction fo small, newly formed tumours.
Sharks do get cancer but perhaps at a lower rate than animals. Sharks get bacterial infections, viral infections, and they suffer from parasites, in short, the entire suite of infectious diseases from which all animals and plants must protect themselves.