One of the difficulties dog lovers have is in getting good data about dog cancer. Sometimes questions surface after your visit to the vet or oncologist, and you may not be able to reach your dog’s doctor.
Logically, the internet is a good place to start.
You will find lots of information about dog cancer on line. However, not all of it is true, and some may lead to incorrect conclusions.
These conclusions can create false hopes by appealing to the need for a good outcome. Other times, deliberate paranoia or even intentional hysteria geared towards product sales is the goal.
You would be surprised what you find.
Suddenly, I have noticed a crop of Dog Cancer Survival Guide imitations popping up. Although it is flattering, I am concerned. None are written by an actual vet, although one “Doctor” is a chiropractor (for people). I mean, I have absolutely nothing against chiropractors (I have gotten my back worked on before), but…
It would be funny except that concerned dog lovers are taking advice that may not help, and could even harm.
I just read an article on the CBS News Health page about dog skin cancer. It was very surprising, considering the source. There were a few points that were quite misleading that should be cleared up.
For example: “.. mast cell tumors, are fatal if untreated…” This is not necessarily true. Here is an abstract supporting the fact that some are dangerous and some are not. There are very few grade 1 mast cell tumors that are fatal if left untreated. (Mast cell tumors are graded from 1 to 3, with some of grade 2 and all of grade 3 being particularly dangerous. For more on mast cell tumors, check out this week’s webinar by clicking here).
Here’s another excerpt from the same site: “Mast cell tumors:…the hormones estrogen and progesterone may also affect cancer growth.” This states that estrogen and progesterone affect mast cell tumor growth. Not true. This abstract shows that there is no link between estrogen receptors and mast cell tumor behavior in the dog.
This same “information” in the CBS News Health site suggests that spaying a female dog would be beneficial to dogs with mast cell tumors, to remove these hormones. False.
On the other hand, these hormones have real-life, measurable effect on mammary (breast) cancer in dogs which is well documented and common knowledge. Spaying does influence mammary tumor development in the dog.
So please be careful what you read!
All my best,
Dr. Demian Dressler is internationally recognized as “the dog cancer vet” because of his innovations in the field of dog cancer management, and the popularity of his blog here at Dog Cancer Blog. The owner of South Shore Veterinary Care, a full-service veterinary hospital in Maui, Hawaii, Dr. Dressler studied Animal Physiology and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis before earning his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. After practicing at Killewald Animal Hospital in Amherst, New York, he returned to his home state, Hawaii, to practice at the East Honolulu Pet Hospital before heading home to Maui to open his own hospital. Dr. Dressler consults both dog lovers and veterinary professionals, and is sought after as a speaker on topics ranging from the links between lifestyle choices and disease, nutrition and cancer, and animal ethics. His television appearances include “Ask the Vet” segments on local news programs. He is the author of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Avian Veterinarians, the National Animal Supplement Council and CORE (Comparative Orthopedic Research Evaluation). He is also an advisory board member for Pacific Primate Sanctuary.