It’s a scary statistic: the Animal Cancer Foundation (ACF) reports that 1 in 4 dogs and 1 in 5 cats will develop cancer in their lifetime. November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month, created by the ACF to raise awareness of the prevalence, symptoms, and treatments for cancer in our companion animals.
Just as with people, the longer your pet lives, the higher their risk of developing some form of the disease. The most common types of cancer in dogs include lymphoma, mast cell tumors in skin, and osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Some of these cancers may appear simply as an enlargement or lump that a pet owner might just attribute to aging.
That’s why it’s important that pets have annual wellness checks—and for pets over ten (large breed dogs over seven), BBAH recommends twice-yearly exams and bloodwork. It’s especially crucial for cats, who are experts at hiding illness but often have more aggressive cancers than dogs.