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2 Million Dogs to Combat Canine Cancer

PHOTO:  Every year hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats are diagnosed with cancer.
PHOTO: Every year hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats are diagnosed with cancer.
September 28, 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Man's best friend could be man's best hope for a cure to cancer. "2 Million Dogs" co-founder, Luke Robinson, and Memphis native Ginger Morgan, the group's executive director, are asking Tennesseeans to "Puppy Up" to help raise awareness of canine cancer.

Of the 64 million dogs that are pets in the United States today, experts say as many as half could develop some form of cancer in their lifetime.

But scientists think dogs also may hold the key to developing treatments for cancer, both in canines and humans. Morgan points out that pets are exposed to many of the same environmental risks as people, and that pet owners need to know there is hope.

"There are treatments for animals and people, obviously with cancer. But we just want them to know that it's not a death sentence when they hear the word cancer."

Morgan and 2 Million Dogs ambassadors are traveling across the United States in October and November promoting "Puppy Up" walks. The campaign is intended to raise awareness about comparative oncology. A walk is already planned on Nov. 4 at Nashville's Centennial Park.

The objective, explains Morgan, is to broaden the understanding of the links between human and companion animal cancer. She says treatment options for humans often result in dramatic side effects that are not the same for canines.

"Dogs don't necessarily react to those treatments like people do."

Morgan says researchers have already documented cases where humans have benefited from limb-sparing techniques developed and tested for dogs. She says there should be a collaborative platform that will develop new approaches to research, and experts say it's likely that someday humans will also benefit from what researchers learn in treating sick pups.

For more details, see the organization's website,

Bo Bradshaw, Public News Service - TN