September 25th, 2012 17:13 EST
Common Links Between Cancer in Humans and Companion Animals
2 Million Dogs, a national nonprofit organization working to support comparative oncology and educate the public about the common links between cancer in humans and companion animals, has embarked on a nationwide tour to share life-saving information on its Summer of Murphy tour.
Veterinary oncologists believe there are between four and eight million new cases of cancer in companion animals every year. Most of those never receive adequate care or treatment and often go undiagnosed. Just like people, companion animals develop cancer. Brain, breast, bone and lung cancer; lymphoma and melanoma are all common in pets, who are frequently exposed to the same environmental factors as humans.
2 Million Dogs has built the largest pet and people cancer community in the world to advocate for comparative oncology, an emerging field of study that is broadening the understanding of the links between human and animal cancer.
The field of comparative oncology is relatively new, however it has tremendous potential to give us key insights to what`s causing cancer across species, " said Ginger Morgan, executive director of 2 Million Dogs. Comparative oncology is important and necessary if we want a world in which cancer is no longer one of the top killers of our children, our parents, and our pets.
After losing a special dog named Malcolm to cancer in 2008, Luke Robinson went on a 2000-mile walk to honor Malcolm and raise awareness of comparative oncology. He was joined by his other dogs Hudson and Murphy, who was later diagnosed with cancer. The Summer of Murphy is intended to honor and celebrate the lives of other pets with cancer " those who have survived, those who are fighting, and those have succumbed like Murphy. Hudson and his new brother Indiana join Robinson on the tour in a specially equipped MurphyMobile. "
"Cancer touches everyone," said Robinson. "Cancer is the world`s greatest scourge, the deadliest pandemic facing pets and people alike. We are here to celebrate and remember survivors as well as those we have lost, and share the spirit of Murphy and other dogs who do not give up or give in until the end."
The Summer of Murphy tour began in August and visits 25 cities including Nashville TN, Little Rock AR, Denison TX, Belton TX, San Antonio TX, Austin TX, Santa Fe NM, Albuquerque NM, Las Vegas NV for the First Annual Puppy Up! Charity Golf Tournament, Denver CO, Garden City KS, Liberty MO, Chicago IL, Indianapolis IN, Cincinnati OH, Columbus OH, Fairborn OH, Pittsburgh PA, New Castle PA, Monessen PA, Clinton NJ, Jersey City NJ, New Milford CT, and Madison CT.
2 Million Dogs recently donated $50,000 for a comparative oncology study of mammary tumors at Princeton University in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania. The project treats shelter dogs with mammary tumors and then studies tissues to understand how breast cancer metastasizes in women.
For a preview video of the Summer of Murphy tour, please see http://youtu.be/6IaF3wuNoSE.
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About 2 Million Dogs
2 Million Dogs, the largest pet and people cancer community in the world, was established to support comparative oncology and educate the public about common links between cancer in humans and companion animals. 2 Million Dogs mobilizes support and raises funds for translational cancer studies that benefit both pets and people.
The organization was born in June 2010 when Luke Robinson concluded a 2000-mile walk with his dogs Murphy and Hudson to honor the loss of his dog Malcolm to cancer. They walked from town to town, sharing Malcolm`s story and educating people about cancer in dogs, and a nationwide grassroots movement emerged. Believing that if two dogs could walk 2000 miles, he could inspire two million to walk two miles. Today, 2 Million Dogs includes annual events such as the nationwide Puppy Up! walks in which dogs and their human parents walk in their communities nationwide to raise awareness and funds for comparative oncology and to educate pet parents about the early warning signs of canine cancer. For more information please see http://www.2milliondogs.org.