Though it may not be rare for chemotherapy, radiation, and other cancer therapies to exist in hospitals meant for humans..
these treatments are also becoming increasingly common among veterinary hospitals, increasing the number of claims made for them, and boosting the costs associated with them.
Americans are increasingly thinking of their pets more as family members than simply animal possessions, and this is leading to a trend toward treating conditions that would, at one time, have once been a death sentence for the dog or cat.
Petplan pet insurance has released the data from their 2011 claims, revealing that one of the most commonly claimed conditions among pet policy owners is for cancer. They also pointed out that the incidences of many different forms of conditions related to cancer are also on the rise.
The most common dog cancer, lymphoma, is the fifth most frequently claimed condition at Petplan, and since 2010, its number of claims have increased by 40 percent. Similarly, mast cell tumor claims are up by 76 percent, while carcinomas have climbed by 380 percent, and melanoma has risen by a tremendous 837 percent.
According to the Petplan vice president of veterinary services, Dr. Jules Benson, it’s important to remember that the “increases” in various forms of cancer primarily refers to a greater number of early identifications and treatments of a certain type of the disease.
He went on to explain that in all likelihood, the number of instances of melanoma likely have not risen by over 800 percent, even though there have been a rise in claims to that degree. What it does indicate is that “through advances in veterinary research and technology, our ability to diagnose and treat these diseases has vastly increased.”