October is Pet Cancer Awareness Month, and Animal Medical Clinic is dedicated to educating pet owners about cancer in dogs and cats. Pet cancer affects millions of families each year – about one in every four dogs and one in every five cats will develop cancer in their lifetime.
Most people tend to panic when they hear the word “cancer.” However, cancer is not always fatal. There are treatment options for many different types of cancer. Some can be cured with surgery. Others can be managed for extended periods of time with medication. One key to successful outcomes is early detection and treatment. That is one reason why comprehensive annual preventive care examinations are so important. Although there is no universal “test for cancer,” annual lab work and in some cases x-rays can help us screen for cancer. In between checkups, monitor your pet for lumps. Any lump greater than ½ inch in diameter should be examined by a veterinarian and a needle biopsy considered. In cancer-prone breeds such as Boxers, Boston Terriers, Golden Retrievers and Pit Bulls, any lump should be checked.
Early detection and treatment lead to more effective and less costly outcomes.