Extend cancer prevention and early diagnosis outreach.
Cancer awareness in the general public will be enhanced through an expanded advocacy program emphasizing cancer control in both humans and pets. For example, the population of NY in 2014 was approximately 20 million: half of the population own and care for companion animals thus creating a substantial constituency and a unique means to approach the concept of cancer advocacy.
The positive effects of animal companionship on human health have been known for some time and pets have become an integral part of the American family. Since pets are subject to illnesses similar to humans, health maintenance in pets has direct implications on human health. As an example of an animal health maintenance program, cancer awareness for owners of pets is a unique and previously unused model for human cancer outreach programs. In particular, children and young adults in homes with pets may more readily connect to the need for cancer prevention through various lifestyle choices they will make if they understand the impact of preventive health strategies in their pets.
For instance, reducing exposure of pets to second hand smoke reduces the risk of respiratory tract cancers, or the benefits of screening and early diagnosis programs for pets at high risk for cancer will heighten awareness of similar programs in humans. The role of the community veterinarian as a source of human health information in a collective and focused way has been largely overlooked. However, those involved in veterinary medicine are uniquely positioned to contribute to cancer control due to the extensive training they receive in trans-species medicine.
This program will be able to access resources to combat cancer that are only available at a major institution such as Cornell. Some of these resources include: