You may be surprised to learn that breast cancer occurs in unspayed female dogs. When a dog is not spayed they have extra estrogen in their systems and an increased risk of developing breast cancer. And just like in people, there is an estrogen-breast cancer correlation, so those dogs run a higher risk of cancer in their mammaries.
There are many similarities between mammary (breast) cancer in dogs and humans except that dogs have 10 mammary glands often with multiple breast tumors occurring at the same time in different mammary glands. These facts open a door of opportunity in the research world.
What could be a sad story about a doomed canine named Akyra covered in the Times, shows us that there is hope for both puppies – and people. In this touching story, all ends well for the darling little furry one. And we see a brighter future for everyone facing breast cancer.
Image credit: Poodle and pink soccer ball by miriamwilcox via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Originally published 4/2/14 on mammographykc.com.