Cancer is an ailment that we veterinarians are unfortunately diagnosing more frequently in our animal companions. The Morris Animal Foundation shares the shocking statistic that “1 in 2 dogs will develop cancer and 1 in 4 dogs will die of the disease.”
As there is no guarantee for a cure, we should strive to prevent our pets from developing cancer in the first place. Yet, since cancer is a multifactorial disease of the immune system involving exuberant growth of cells that have altered DNA lacking a "turn-off" mechanism (apoptosis, or cellular death), the origins of the disease never have a singular or finite cause. Therefore, there is no absolute guarantee that our best efforts to prevent cancer from happening will guarantee a desired outcome (i.e., having a pet never develop cancer).
May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month, but I feel like cancer awareness and prevention needs to be a year-round strategy for pet owners.
Considering my own Welsh Terrier, Cardiff, underwent surgery and chemotherapy twice for T-Cell Lymphoma and had a great quality of life through his treatment this topic is very important to me. See (and share) this KTLA news segment Cancer in Pets: Health Smart featuring my Husky patient Tina who received treatment at Veterinary Cancer Group.
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Dr. Patrick Mahaney
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Copyright of this article (2019) is owned by Dr. Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian, Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist and Certified Veterinary Journalist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr. Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr. Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.