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Older dogs may not have a higher risk of developing cancer.

Researchers have discovered which dog breeds are more prone to cancer, and the results disprove the idea that larger dogs are more prone to the disease.

Large — but not the largest — dog breeds have the highest cancer risk overall, according to a study published Tuesday. Royal Society Open Science He told ABC News.

The researchers wanted to understand how cancer starts, how it starts, and asked specific questions about how that initiation relates to the dog species, said Leonard Nuney, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California Riverside and lead author of the paper. He told ABC News.

In humans, the pattern shows that the older the body, the more susceptible to cancer, Nuney said. But this concept doesn’t translate to a person’s best friend, the study shows.

“You have everything from a Chihuahua to a Mastiff or a Great Dane,” he said. “So there’s a huge range.”

Because large dogs die at a younger age, they are less likely to develop cancer than medium-sized dogs, Lunney said.

“That’s simply because they die young,” he added.

Some of the breeds most prone to cancer are flat-coated dogs, Bernese Mountain Dogs and Westies, Lunney said.

Flat-panel restorations typically have a high frequency of sarcoma, a rare cancer of bone and soft tissue, he added.

Most terriers, especially Scottish terriers, are more prone to cancer than their size suggests, Lunney said. Terriers have a higher incidence of bladder cancer, he said.

The good news is that many breeds are more prone to cancer, Lunny.

The results of the study provide clues to the number of genetic mutations that cause cancer in dogs, and while breeding in a breed’s pedigree shortens lifespan, it does not increase cancer risk overall, the researchers said.

According to Lunney, the model used in the study will be used in the future to determine whether different species are affected by cancer.

“Dogs are an excellent model for understanding genetic changes that may lead to increased susceptibility to specific cancers,” he said.