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Cancer Goes to the Dogs - Group Asks Folks to "Puppy Up"

PHOTO: Every year, hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats are diagnosed with cancer. Image by  Royalty-Free/Corbis
PHOTO: Every year, hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats are diagnosed with cancer. Image by Royalty-Free/Corbis
October 17, 2012

CASPER, Wyo. - Man's best friend could be man's best hope for a cancer cure.

The group "2 Million Dogs" is raising awareness about canine cancer through its "Puppy Up" campaign - and possible links to similar cancers in humans. The group's executive director, Ginger Morgan, explains that pets are exposed to many of the same environmental risks as people, and there's hope for animal and human cancer patients.

"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 says the objective is to broaden the understanding of the links between human and companion-animal cancer.

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

Morgan says researchers already have documented cases where humans have benefited from limb-sparing techniques developed for dogs.

Morgan says the Puppy Up campaign, which includes walks in some states, is intended to raise awareness about comparative oncology.

More information is online at 2milliondogs.org.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - WY