Pet cancer is set to become a top health priority thanks to the work of the Animal Cancer Trust. In a major announcement made at Crufts this week, the Trust has outlined its plans to sponsor a cancer specialist, and provide travel grants for veterinarians specialising in oncology.
Jade the dog at Crufts with her owners Carol and Graham Copley, three years after successful cancer treatment.
With one in four dogs, and one in eight cats, likely to develop a tumour in their lifetime, the work of the Animal Cancer Trust in supporting education and research into the latest cancer treatments is seen as vital.
The Trust is also fundraising for future support of research activity, and aims to educate and inform both owners and veterinarians, facilitate research, and work with other charitable partners in the quest to tackle the disease.
‘Staggeringly, almost half of all dogs over 10 years old die of cancer,’ explains Malcolm Brearley, Consultant Veterinary Oncologist and a trustee of the Animal Cancer Trust. ìThis is why we are so eager to provide this sponsorship.
‘Early, appropriate and effective treatment is an important factor in the fight against cancer,’ says Malcolm. ‘No longer is the ‘let’s-wait-and-see’ attitude acceptable. Surgery remains the treatment most likely to achieve a cure.’
However aggressive tumours need aggressive surgery, and as with human cancer, this is best performed by specialist surgeons with an understanding of the disease. Some tumours can be treated with radiotherapy and others with anticancer drugs, but currently there are only a few centres with the necessary equipment for animals in the UK.
This year, the Animal Cancer Trust will sponsor a speaker at the European Society of Veterinary Oncology Congress in March, an event attended by a large number of veterinarians from across the UK as well as from continental Europe.
If the Trust’s fundraising activities are successful, then next year could mean even more support for both owners and veterinarians.
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