March 30 – Spaying the Difference

Today’s factismal: Spaying a cat or dog reduces its chances of getting breast cancer by 85%.

One of the more interesting things about cancer is how ubiquitous it is. Not just in the human body (which can get cancer in just about every part) but also in the tree of life. Sharks get cancer. Sea turtles get cancer. Tasmanian devils get cancer. And cats get cancer, too.

A cancer-free Tasmanian devil (My camera)

A cancer-free Tasmanian devil
(My camera)

But what is interesting about cancer in cats (and dogs, too) is that some types of cancer can be prevented by spaying the animal. For example, breast cancer is seven times more common in cats and dogs that haven’t been spayed than it is in animals that have been spayed. Interestingly, spaying also reduces the amount of bladder cancers in pets, and may have an effect on skin cancer as well.

A cancer-free cat (My camera)

A cancer-free cat
(My camera)

Of course, spaying your pets isn’t the only way to fight cancer. You can also help scientists discover a cure by participating in Cell Slider. You’ll sort images of cells, identifying ones that you think are cancerous. Each analysis brings us that much closer to killing cancer once and for all. To participate, head over to:
http://www.cellslider.net/

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