According to the National Cancer Institute, carcinogens are any substance that causes cancer.
It makes sense that we would want to protect healthy dogs from carcinogens. Since dog cancer is the number one cause of death, limiting a family pet’s carcinogen exposure is the right choice.
But, what if your dog already has cancer?
Does it still make sense, if the damage is already done?
The answer may be yes. Scientists have found that the DNA in cancer cells is unstable. This means that it can change on it’s own, creating new mutations. These changes can give the cancer cells new traits, some of which increase how aggressive the cancer behaves.
It has also been shown that the mutations in cancer cells increase if the cancer is more advanced. This suggests that the more aggressive cancers have more mutations.
So what does this mean? Simply put, as cancer grows, it can change and get stronger. The way this happens is through cancer cell DNA changes.
What nasty substances are known to cause DNA to change? Carcinogens.
In my opinion, if one were to expose cancer cells, that already have unstable DNA, to substances known to change DNA, we may create a perfect storm. In other words, the mutation rate could spike, creating a tsunami of aberrant cancer cells that shift and morph into tougher forms.
For this reason, it seems logical that we should start paying attention to carcinogen exposure to try to get an edge in dog cancer treatment.
Carcinogens are discussed in The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, and can be found in food, water, air, and the environment.
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.