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Posts Tagged ‘canine mammary tumors’

Breast Cancer And Dogs: The Next ‘Canaries In The Coal Mine’?

Posted by Erich Trapp on October 12, 2013

By Lynne Peeples, Huffington Post

(Thanks to Lynne Peeples and the Huffington Post for this article.)

When his beloved Great Pyrenees Malcolm died of bone cancer at age 6, Luke Robinson resolved to learn why.

“I didn’t even know dogs could get cancer,” he said.

The nagging mystery would send Robinson walking over 2,000 miles from Austin, Texas, to Boston with his other two dogs to raise awareness for canine cancer. It would also inspire his launch of an organization devoted to finding an answer — through the discovery of links between dog and human tumors.

“Breast cancer was the first cancer we funded,” said Robinson, co-founder of the nonprofit 2 Million Dogs . “Under a microscope, a mammary tumor from a dog and from a person look the same.”

As the prolific pink ribbons seek to remind us this month, breast cancer’s grip remains strong and its reach ever-expanding. One in eight women in the U.S. will now face the diagnosis — a rise of 40 percent in just one generation.

Perhaps less well-known, however, is that most breast cancers are not hereditary and that cancer is the leading disease-related killer of dogs, with mammary tumors the most common type afflicting females. (Early spaying significantly reduces the risk of such tumors.) These facts, combined with mounting evidence of harm posed by certain chemicals used on carpets, couches, food bowls, squeaky toys and manicured lawns enjoyed by people and pets — has led some experts and advocates to recommend a shift in breast cancer research and funding.

Only about 10 percent of breast cancer research dollars are devoted to its environmental causes, according to a federal interagency report published in February.

Luke Robinson and his two dogs, Murphy and Hudson, peer from a tent during his canine cancer awareness walk from Austin, Tex. to Boston in 2008. (Marei Burnfield)

Luke Robinson and his two dogs, Murphy and Hudson, peer from a tent during his canine cancer awareness walk from Austin, Tex. to Boston in 2008. (Marei Burnfield)

“Dogs drink our same water, they are exposed to the same toxins,” Robinson said. “The logical assumption is that indeed there is an environmental basis for these cancers. But a lot of research and funding comes from pharmaceutical companies. And there’s no money in cause and prevention.”

Overall, growing interest in canine cancer has led to new comparative oncology research at the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University, with financial help from 2 Million Dogs. Investigators are treating shelter dogs that have developed mammary cancer, while gleaning information about the progression of the disease. The researchers hope to identify treatments that will benefit both dogs and humans.

Penn veterinarians previously studied dogs involved in September 11 search and rescue missions thought to be exposed to chemicals in the rubble. They found no elevated rates of major health problems in the decade after the attack.

To read the entire article by Huffington Post, please follow this link.

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Featured Pup — Girl Waring

Posted by Erich Trapp on June 8, 2012

Girl enjoying a day at the beach.

Here is our pup of the day for the 2 Million Dogs’ 2013 Cancer Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down calendar contest. Remember, you can enter your pup through June 30th and voting starts July 1st. To enter your dog or for more information, email erich@2milliondogs.org. Puppy Up!

(by Dr. Neely B Waring) Girl found rescue in the fall of 2008. A rescue volunteer saw her tied outside a home in the Miami heat; she had no food, water, or shelter from the sun or rain. The volunteer stopped and knocked on the door. The owner refused to surrender her at the time, but only a week later called the number the girl left with him. He dropped Girl off without a second thought. She was 10 years old, malnourished, and had obviously birthed many litters. She sat in rescue 6 months before I saw her picture online. My friends were pushing me to get a puppy, but her big round eyes touched my soul.

After several months with me, she began to let her personality shine. She was so feisty for being a senior dog! She learned she could jump on the furniture and once she found my bed she never left it! She helped foster many puppies through rescue and was fondly referred to as “the nanny.” She loved to go out on the town with us. She was often seen sporting a cute dress or floppy hat and pink sunglasses. We joked that she was the typical Florida retiree. She won over the judges with her underbite at Worth Avenue’s 2011 Pet Parade and was awarded Best Smile. She was also recognized as Oldest Bulldog at Buddies Thru Bullies 2012 Bullympics.

She developed mammary tumors when she was around 11 years old. They stayed small for quite some time, but over the last few months they grew fast. By then she was 13 and her health was declining. She was losing weight rapidly and going through phases of Vestibular Disease. The vet suspected a brain tumor, but we chose not to do many extensive tests due to her age and health. She had already surpassed the average lifespan of a bulldog and we were so grateful for the time we had with her. We chose to give her the best quality of life we could until the end.

Girl passed in April 2012, but her legacy continues. Her image is used in the Bullies Against Bullying campaign to reach out to kids about the effects of bullying.

 

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Savage Mountain

Posted by Erich Trapp on January 11, 2012

Luke Robinson and Ginger Morgan present a check to Princeton University for the The Canine Mammary Tumor Program.

by Luke Robinson

[Wednesday, January 11, 2012]  Six years ago to this day, I lost my boy Malcolm to metastatic cancer and on this anniversary, it is with tremendous honor I announce the funding of The 2 Million Dogs Foundation‘s first research initiative: A breast cancer study benefiting both humans and canines.

The 2 Million Dogs Foundation presented a check for $50,000 to Princeton University today to help fund the school’s Molecular Study of Canine Mammary Tumor Development and Progression: From Genome To Clinical Outcome.

Mammary tumors are the most common tumors in intact female dogs, and in humans, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women – approximately one in eight women develop breast cancer during their lifetime. Mammary tumors in dogs and breast cancer in women have many similarities, both in terms of risk factors and biology.

The 2 Million Dogs Foundation chose this study for the following reasons:

First and foremost, it’s translational in that people stand to significantly benefit as well as our canine companions.

Second, it’s collaborative. The Canine Mammary Tumor Program  began at The University of Pennsylvania with Dr. Karin Sorenmo whom we met while walking through Philadelphia. Collaboration, we feel, is key if we plan to make significant strides in cancer research.

Third, the tissue samples were collected from shelter dogs diagnosed with breast cancer, and they were all treated, at no expense, by UPenn as part of their program.

And finally, we feel that the approach of this study is novel, not incremental, and could potentially yield critical insights into metastatic breast cancer.

While we have donated $50,000, 2 Million Dogs has pledged to raise an additional $30,000 this year to study more tissue samples.   Click here to help us raise the additional funds needed or contact ginger@2milliondogs.org for other ways you can help.

I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the many, many people who made this day possible. My family back in Texas, our supporters, fans, and friends, both new and old, the hundreds of strangers that helped Hudson, Murphy and me get from Austin to Boston safely, the folks at 2 Million Dogs, and to Ginger Morgan, the Executive Director, who has believed in my vision since the day we walked through Memphis.

And finally, to those who had the courage to always believe. God bless you.  Keep the faith and puppy up!

Postcript

I remember standing atop Savage Mountain, the highest peak on the Rails-Trails from Pittsburgh to DC in August of 2009.  It was a glorious afternoon – a crystalline sky colored in an indescribable blue like the Frio River that cuts through the Texas hill country.  I wrote a poem about Malcolm entitled “Savage Heart” and I thought it incredibly ironic that this mountain was our highest hurdle.

As I sat perched upon a rock, reflecting on our journey, I could see for hundreds of miles.

(Reprinted from http://2dogs2000miles.blogspot.com/2012/01/savage-mountain.html)

To view the video presentation, please click here.

To view the WZBN TV coverage from Princeton, please click here.

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