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Celebrating hope for future of canine oncology with Take C.H.A.R.G.E

dvm360dvm360 June 2022
Volume 53
Issue 6
Pages: 20

On National Canine Cancer Awareness Day, a canine cancer registry and cancer care index initiative was launched in New York City featuring experts and entertainers bringing attention to the latest dog oncology research and insights

Speakers and Broadway performers who were highlighted at the Take C.H.A.R.G.E event.

Speakers and Broadway performers who were highlighted at the Take C.H.A.R.G.E event.

In New York City’s Madison Square Park, the sun was shining, and both human and furry friends gathered for the debut of the United State’s Canine Cancer Registry and Cancer Care indexTake C.H.A.R.G.E.(Canine Health And ReGistry Exchange)—launched by Jaguar Health. In honor of this occasion, along with the first National Canine Cancer Awareness Day, well-known veterinary oncology specialists and Broadway performers took the stage.

According to Lisa Conte, CEO, president, and founder of Jaguar Health, experts coupled with entertainment allowed for an uplifting atmosphere despite the devastating disease that was the focus because with this registry comes hope for the future of veterinary oncology.

Some cheerful dog attendees in the audience.

Some cheerful dog attendees in the audience.

“A [registry] harnesses the power of a common experience of an entire community so that we can all take charge of our own individual animal’s health should there be a situation of canine cancer that pops up,” Conte said.

Gallup survey of dog owners

Other important results from the survey included1:

  • More than 8 in 10 dog owners were in favor of the development of a canine cancer registry
  • 10 most represented breeds in the survey included: Labrador, chihuahua, Pitbull, golden retriever, German shepherd, Yorkshire, dachshund, boxer, beagle, shih tzu
  • 92% of pet owners reported not having pet insurance at time of diagnosis
  • 68% decided not to treat their dog for cancer; due to the dog’s age (54%), treatment cost (39%), and treatment side effects (38%)
  • Helping dogs manage cancer can cause owners to experience anxiety, depression, lack of sleep, and missing work and other responsibilities
  • Dog owners’ capability of managing their dog’s side effects from cancer treatment is the best predictor of their well-being outcomes
  • 92% of dog owners with no canine cancer experience and 65% of those with canine cancer experience revealed they knew little or nothing about cancer treatment side effects
  • Though 46% of dog owners ‘strongly agreed’ their dog received high quality cancer care, they were less likely to feel satisfied with the information they received

The veterinary oncology specialists included Sue Ettinger, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology), Take C.H.A.R.G.E. scientific advisory board member, as well as a dvm360® editorial advisory board member; and Theresa (Terry) W. Fossum, DVM, MS, PhD, Diplomate ACVS, Take C.H.A.R.G.E. scientific advisory board co-chair. Both experts provided insight and advice surrounding veterinary oncology. Additionally, the Gallup survey and its implications were presented to help the audience better understand dog cancer and thus, help protect them from the disease.

“The Gallup was a survey of just under 6000 people and 67% of them were pet owners. A couple of interesting things really stood out,” Ettinger said, in a dvm360® interview.

“The prevalence of cancer was about 3.4% which is a little bit lower than we see in people. But what really stood out to me and what was interesting and scary was the incidence, so newly diagnosed cancer in dogs, and that was 2.8% and that was 5 times what we’re seeing in human cancer. So that is why this registry is so important so we can really break down the cancer in dogs and understand it at a state level, by breed, by cancer, by age, and gender as well,” she added.

Ettinger emphasized the importance of early cancer detection while highlighting proactive methods for pet owners during her presentation at the Take C.H.A.R.G.E event. “I strongly encourage everyone once a month—so I think about when you’re doing heartworm preventative, flea, and tick preventative—to do a nose-to-tail lump and bump exam. If the mass is the size of a pea, which is the size of a M&M or a skittle and been there a month, you want to go to your veterinarian for a simple test called an aspirate,” she said.

From left to right: Glo Janata, JD, TogoRun president, CEO, and owner; Lisa Conte, CEO, president, and founder of Jaguar Health; Chelsea Rhoads, Ivee CEO and founder; and Sue Ettinger, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology).

From left to right: Glo Janata, JD, TogoRun president, CEO, and owner; Lisa Conte, CEO, president, and founder of Jaguar Health; Chelsea Rhoads, Ivee CEO and founder; and Sue Ettinger, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology).

Co-sponsored by TogoRun—a health care communications company—and Intelligent Veterinary Enhanced Experience (Ivee)—a software company that helps organize and standardize healthcare data—the Take C.H.A.R.G.E. initiative included words from Glo Janata, JD, TogoRun president, CEO, and owner, and Chelsea Rhoads, Ivee CEO and founder. Their companies united as key players in helping to launch this significant registry and event.

“I think [Take C.H.A.R.G.E.] will impact the animal health industry in a huge [number] of ways,” said Rhoads, in a dvm360® interview. “Understanding what’s going on in the trends between breeds and gender and location is a game changer. There are so many ways this can grow and create a huge impact for veterinary medicine.”

“[Canine cancer is] a topic that’s close to so many people’s hearts . . . so I think [my favorite part of the Take C.H.A.R.G.E. event was] just being able to see everyone out here at the park on such a wonderful day to celebrate National Cancer Canine Awareness Day for the first time and to learn about the registry,” added Janata, during the interview.

In addition to canine cancer insights, Broadway stars performed consisting of talented and lively actors, singers, playwrights, and beyond. Their powerful voices traveled through the city park as they sang popular songs—and even some music spotlighting the one-of-a-kind love dogs offer us.

“I want to acknowledge how the Broadway community has dealt with data and reality to take charge of their art and bring Broadway back to all of us. We are so lucky to be able to hear the singers today,” Conte expressed.

Last, there was a video presentation featuring all the Broadway performers accompanied by their dogs covering Frank Sinatra’s “It Had to Be You” for a heartwarming conclusion.

To help advance canine oncology research and support the initiative, dog owners and veterinary professionals can submit dog cancer records to the Take C.H.A.R.G.E. website.


Gallup survey of dog owners. Jaguar Health Canine Cancer: Take C.H.A.R.G.E. Accessed May 24, 2022. https://takechargeregistry.com/about

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