Bloomberg12 t1_j9s91b3 wrote

Very rarely, especially so for their size and life span.

They have 20 times the copies of a fairly common gene (P53) which targets cancer cells and this is seemingly pretty common for larger animals including blue whales but elephants specifically have another gene (LIF6) which is controlled by P53 and acts as another layer of defence. It's also a theory that it was a strong contributing factor as to why elephants got as big as they are because of the (extremely vague) timing.


Bloomberg12 t1_j9h1fs8 wrote

There's also other limiting factors in size too, to be fair. Cancer being one of them, with a lot more cells to undergo regeneration the chance that one "goes rogue" becomes much more likely, especially since life spans typically become longer when a longer growth period is needed.

That being said some animals have developed counter measures like elephants that makes them much lower risk.