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Dogs offer insight into breast cancer research

Dr. Karen Sorenmo, a veterinary oncologist at the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School, started a group called the Shelter Canine Mammary Tumor Program that treats rescue dogs who have been diagnosed with cancer, according to a new report from WPTV.

According to the report, Cali, a puppy rescued from a mill, was adopted last year by Millie Edmonds, a cancer survivor. Cali the dog was soon found to have 12 mammary gland tumors herself.

Dogs have five pairs of mammary glands allowing researchers to look at tumor development at different stages, according to the news source.

Cancers that occur in dogs include skin cancer, the most common kind, as well as mammary, lymphatic, reproductive, and alimentary system cancers, among others. The first drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration, geared towards treating cancer in dogs, was called Palladia, announced in 2009.

Palladia treats skin cancer in dogs, which accounts for about 20 percent of canine tumors. Early detection as well as spaying and neutering one's pets can prevent them from developing cancer, according to WPTV. 
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