It may be common knowledge that cancer is prevalent among dogs. But now according to veterinarians, breast cancer is also very rampant among canines.
More than 10 per cent of the dogs brought to the Advance Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC) at Kharghar in the last five years had breast cancer. According to the scientists at the centre, more than 400 dogs have been brought there for cancer treatment, since it was set up. ACTREC, a part of the Tata Memorial hospital, has a dedicated animal care centre, the only one of its kind in the country.
“In the last five years, among all the dogs that have been brought here for treatment, we have found that the maximum number of cases were of breast cancer,” said Dr P R Chaudhari, Comparative Oncology Program & Small Animal Imaging Facility.
“The treatment for this kind of cancer is the same as the one offered to humans. There is surgery,
after that chemotherapy and then we go for radiotherapy if needed,” he explained. The other common types of cancer prevalent among dogs are that of the bone, bone, lymphoma and oral.
“In the western countries, one out of four pet dogs develops cancer and receives modern cancer treatment. As there are no specialised cancer treatment facilities for animals in India till a few years ago, pets diagnosed with cancer were not offered any treatment and were usually put to sleep to relieve or prevent their suffering,” Dr P R Chaudhari added.
Talking about the kind of animals being treated at the centre, a researcher recalled that a python suffering from oral cancer was brought from Byculla zoo. However, they could not save the python.