Cancer is due to the fact that our dogs are living longer.
This was recently stated by a publicly aired news broadcast, by an expert. And the topic was dog cancer.
I’m here to tell you that this is incorrect. And as usual, there is ample back-up evidence. But first, some clarifications.
In the past we have confused two concepts. One is that of longevity as cause of diseases like cancer. This means that the addition of years of life is a cause of a problem. So from this viewpoint, time is the main factor, and the fact that time is passing actually creates the disease.
The second concept is different. This viewpoint includes the fact that many diseases are created at a very slow pace. Many of these diseases, like cancer, are mainly due to issues found in more industrialized civilizations. From this viewpoint, we are looking at disease-causing issues that happen at a very sluggish (but consistent) pace.
Of course you can see that these are separate ideas. The first is that longevity is a cause. The second is that we have causes, but they take a long time to have an effect.
Cancer is not caused by the fact that the pet and human populations are living longer. Cancer is caused by things that take a while to create cancer in the body.
Why does this matter? Is it just to throw ideas around and act like armchair philosophers?
The reason it matters is that if cancer has definite causes that can be identified and addressed, singly or in groups, we can deal with this problem. On the other had, if cancer is caused by old age, clearly we are powerless, since we cannot slow time’s passage.
Who wants to be powerless? Who wants to make things better?
I’d take the second position. And I’m sure you would to.
If you would like to learn more about the real-life, actual causes of cancer that are in our world right now, and you want to help your dog, you should check out The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.
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.