Cancer is a scary word. But when you know all the facts, knowledge and understanding can reduce the fear. Find out everything you need to know about cancer and its effects...

Cancer in Animals

Studies in veterinary research have shown that cancer causes about half of deaths in pets or domesticated animals that are over the age of 10. Cancer has also been recorded as one of the causes of death in wild animals, particularly in Tasmanian devils, sea lions and sea turtles. Similar to cancer in humans, early detection and proper treatment are also the two best ways to prevent animal deaths caused by cancer.

Symptoms of Cancer in Animals

Because early detection is important to increase the effectiveness of cancer treatment in animals, it is imperative that the caretaker of the animal is familiar with the signs and symptoms of cancer. Some of the common signs and symptoms of most types of animal cancers include: an abnormal swelling which continues to grow or does not subside; sores which are not healing; unexplained loss of weight; loss of appetite; changes in behaviour; bleeding or discharge from body openings like the nose or mouth; and difficulty in breathing, urination or defecation.

In order to get a correct diagnosis of the condition of an animal, as soon as some signs or symptoms are seen, it should be taken to a veterinarian right away. The veterinarian may then conduct a physical examination and have the animal undergo some tests and screening examinations which can help in determining whether it has cancer or another medical condition.

Causes of Cancer in Animals

Cancer in dogs, cats and other animals can be caused by a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes include genetics, improper diet and nutrition and excessive exposure to carcinogenic substances or chemicals.

Cancer Treatment Options for Animals

Today, because of the amount of studies and research which have been conducted by scientists in the field of veterinary medicine, there are plenty of options available for the treatment of cancer in animals, especially in dogs and cats. As a matter of fact, a lot of the cancer treatment options which are used in treating cancer in humans have already become available for animals including radiation therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy.

To determine which treatment option would be most effective, it is important for a veterinarian to first make a proper diagnosis to know the type of cancer the animal has and how far along it has progressed. The treatment that should be used can also depend on the age of the animal and its general health condition.

Cost of Treating Cancer in Animals

The costs associated in treating cancer generally vary based on the type of treatment that will be used, the facility where you would be bringing the animal for treatment and your location. First off, there is the diagnostic testing which is necessary before going forward with any type of treatment and this can cost anywhere from £100 to £650. Once a diagnosis is made, treatments can range from £650 all the way to £10,000 and even more, especially if the condition requires more intensive treatments which may be a combination of different methods including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Because the costs can widely vary, it would be best to do plenty of research to make sure that you would be able to get the best care and treatment for your pet.