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Cancer in Pets


  • The rate of cancer in pets (and humans) increases with age. 1
  • Nearly half of all deaths in pets over ten years of age are the result of cancer. 1
  • Some of the root causes of cancer are prolonged exposure to UV radiation (sunlight), toxic chemicals, certain viruses, chronic inflammation, immune system failure, etc.
  • A new study (2015) found that fully 65% percent of cancers occur from random mutations of DNA with no discernable cause, including those listed above. 2
  • Cancer stems from one bad cell that becomes immortal and divides over and over. 3
  • A cancer’s only function is to grow. Once a tumor reaches the size of a grape (approx. two centimeters diameter), it must grow its own blood supply (angiogenesis). 3
  • A tumor is undetectable until it has reached at least one billion cancer cells. 3
  • All cancer therapy is considered palliative (only temporarily effective at best), save complete surgical removal. 4


  • Cancer by definition is uncontrolled growth. 5
  • Neoplasia is the medical term for cancer. It comes from the Greek words for new and formation or creation. 8
  • The words cancer and carcinogen are derived from Greek and Latin words for crab. A cancer tightly adheres to surrounding tissue as a crab tightly adheres to its meal. 6
  • The words oncology and oncologist are derived from the Greek word for mass or burden. 6
  • A tumor is a cluster or mass of cancer cells.
  • A benign tumor is one that lacks the ability to invade local tissue (invasiveness) or spread to distant sites (metastasis). 5
  • A malignant tumor is one that has the ability to invade local tissue and (or) spread to distant sites. 5

Six Hallmarks of Cancer. 7

  • Cancer cells stimulate their own growth.
  • Cancer cells resist inhibitory signals from (or drop out of communication with) the body’s immune system, which might otherwise inhibit their growth.
  • Cancer cells resist their own programmed cell death (apoptosis).
  • A tumor stimulates the growth of blood vessels (angiogenesis) to supply itself with nutrients.
  • Cancer cells can multiply forever (immortal) if sufficient nutrients are available.
  • Tumors can invade local tissue or spread to distant sites in the body.

Common Signs of Cancer. 9

  • Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow.
  • Sores that do not heal in 2-3 weeks.
  • Weight loss.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Bleeding or discharge from any body opening.
  • Offensive odor.
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing.
  • Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina.
  • Persistent lameness or stiffness.
  • Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating.

  1. American Veterinary Medical Society; www.avma.org
  2. Biological bad luck blamed in two-thirds of cancer cases; Will Dunham; January 01, 2015.
  3. Kelly Chaffin, DVM, ACVIM; Evaluating the cancer patient; DCVMA continuing edu; January 14, 2003.
  4. Zach Wright; DVM; ACVIM; Updates in oncology; DCVMA continuing edu; Dallas Texas; February 2013.
  5. www.dictionary.reference.com
  6. Long Shadow of Cancer; George Johnson; Discover; July 2003.
  7. Six Hallmarks of Cancer; cell; January 2014.
  8. www.en.m.wikipedia.org
  9. www.vetcancersocity.org

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Plano Animal Clinic

3205 Alma, Ste 415
Plano, TX 75075

Phone: (972) 422-5116

Paralyzed Dogs

The treatment methods that have been the most beneficial for our patients over the past few years include: Immune modulation, VOM spinal adjustments, Cold LASER therapy & LED acupuncture.

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