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Portugal creates a registry of animals with cancer – Health Insurance


Francisco Chacón

Correspondent in Lisbon

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Portugal has launched the first record of animals with cancer, an initiative developed by the Abel Salazar Institute of Biomedical Sciences and by the Public Health Institute of the University of Porto.

The objective is to control the frequency and distribution of tumors of companion animals throughout the neighboring country, which will not only result in a higher quality of life but in a better relationship of their owners with them. In addition, it is planned to analyze external influences and associated risk factors.

To this end, the platform called Vet-OncoNet (Veterinary Oncology Network) has been created, headed by the researcher Joao Niza Ribeiro, whose first step is to launch a call for crowdfunding to mobilize precisely the owners of dogs, cats or other species.

The University of Trás-os-Montes will also collaborate, as will the University of Alto Duero. Both institutions will contribute to the registry heading in a double direction: one focused on the general public, which will result in a community that shares issues and doubts to relieve those who have to take care of sick animals and a more scientific one that will detail the list of all cancer cases, with the cooperation of diagnostic laboratories and veterinary clinics.

Nice Ribeiro argues that « knowing more about cancer in animals helps research on human oncology. » Much more in those cases that occur of people who have this ailment and also their pets.

The geographical distribution usually coincides, « where there are more human lymphomas there is also evidence that there are more canine lymphomas »

This circumstance makes the draft, just started, be qualified as « ambitious », given that certain indications point to the role of « sentinels » of dogs or cats (the most widespread in the houses) in relation to the men and women with whom they live.

Another of the researchers, Katia Pinello, has come to affirm that geographical distribution usually coincides, which means that « where there are more human lymphomas there is also evidence that there are more canine lymphomas » since the two species are very similar « anatomically and pathologically. »

If people and those special companions are in the same environmental environment, they are likely to share external influence factors, which would explain why it happens that cancer develops in parallel in each other.

The field of action therefore admits multiple bifurcations, so that expectations in Portugal are justified in this regard. At least, the initiative’s shooting clock has already begun to carburete.