In a word or two, not yet. But we're getting closer.
If you accept the hypothesis in human medicine that about 1/3 of our cancer cases are genetic, another 1/3 are bad luck, and the final 1/3 are environmental, then the question really comes down to how we can alter our pets' macroenvironment to reduce cancer risk.
And that we CAN do.
Before we talk about that, however, let's touch on the genetic component. Basically, the larger the dog the more likely you are to run into cancer. Retriever and Pit Bull breeds, in particular, have very high incidence rates of cancer. Great Danes and Bernese Mountain Dogs like my old pal MacGregor are right up there, as well. So if you really want to hedge your cancer bet, then dogs under 40# and cats are the way you want to fly.
Another factor to understand is that some genetic families of dogs are more prone to cancer, and Bonnie C. and I have shed a lot of tears over this fact. If you buy a purebred dog, ALWAYS look at their parents' and grandparents' health records.
But the larger question is how to minimize the risk of cancer in the pets we love. And, just as with humans, the way to do that is to REDUCE INFLAMMATION and to AVOID EXPOSURE TO TOXINS.
How can we do these things? Step right up, boys and girls.
TO REDUCE INFLAMMATION AS A CAUSE OF CANCER....
- MINIMIZE HEALTH ISSUES CAUSING IMMUNE STIMULATION
-REDUCE YOUR PET'S ALLERGIES (More on that topic coming soon)
-TREAT INFECTIONS EARLY AND AGGRESSIVELY
- KEEP UP WITH DENTAL CLEANINGS (especially for small dogs!!)
-RECOGNIZE THAT ARTHRITIS IS NOT ONLY PAINFUL, IT ALSO CREATES INFLAMMATION.
- VACCINES STIMULATE YOUR PET'S IMMUNE SYSTEM, TOO
- USE VACCINES... APPROPRIATELY ... IF YOUR PET IS AT RISK
- AVOID THE USE OF ROUTINE VACCINES JUST BECAUSE YOUR VET SENT YOU A REMINDER. ASK WHY YOUR PET NEEDS THIS SHOT!!
- THIS IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT FOR CATS, BECAUSE THEY CAN DEVELOP SKIN CANCER AT THE SITE OF ANY SKIN PUNCTURE... INCLUDING SHOTS.
- FAT CREATES INFLAMMATION. IN ALL OF US. SO SLIM YOUR PETS DOWN!!
- CONSIDER PROVEN SUPPLEMENTS:
-CURCUMIN IS THE MOST POTENT NATURAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY MOLECULE. Yes, that's why we a) make, b) take, and c) give our own pets TRANSCEND.
-CBD OIL acts to reduce pain, itch, nausea, and inflammation via its actions on the endocannabinoid system. More on that coming, too.
-UNDENATURED TYPE - II COLLAGEN, or UC-II, not only reduces arthritic pain but also desensitizes your pet's immune system to the effects of that arthritis. Yes, we carry that as well. Because it works.
THE BIGGEST ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS OF CANCER FOR YOUR PET ARE ROUND UP AND WEED/FEED PRODUCTS, both of which have been proven to cause lymphoma in dogs. So don't sweat the weeds as much, and be careful where your pets get their outdoor exercise.
ANOTHER FUN FUTURE TOPIC WILL BE THE USE OF DRUGS LIKE METFORMIN, the human diabetic drug, which has been proven to reduce cancer rates in both humans and dogs. Based upon the preliminary studies, I would absolutely consider its use in young dogs at risk of developing cancer. More on that coming, too.