#CurePetCancer: The hashtag that helps to save lives

UPDATE! We hit our $30,000 goal before the end of the month, so we upped it to $50,000!

Because I see so many claims for cancer, and know too many of these cases ended in heartbreak, National Pet Cancer Awareness Month means a lot to me. I know the chance to get the word out about prevention, early detection and early treatment means to my colleague in the veterinary community. #CurePetCancer is one way we all can help.

Last year Nationwide® received 8,000 more cancer-related claims than the year prior — more than 75,000 overall. Nationwide pet insurance members accumulated more than $22 million in medical expenses for the top 10 pet cancer-related conditions.

But  we know that advances in early detection and treatment, along with affordable financial solutions, have given pet lovers a number of options to fight back.

Those affordable financial solutions include pet health insurance, of course, and I’m proud of my role as Nationwide’s Chief Veterinary Medical Officer. Colleagues ask me now and then if I miss clinical practice. My answer is always yes and no. Yes, because I miss working so closely both with pets and pet owners. But no, because in my job I save more animals than I ever could in clinical practice. I guess the answer is that where I am is where I should be.

The other part of financial resources are the kind that come through the funding of research, and I’m proud of my role in that, too.

cure pet cancer 2This month, as we have in past Novembers,  Nationwide is partnering with the Animal Cancer Foundation (ACF) to increase awareness and raise funds to fight the No. 1 disease-related killer of dogs and cats.  Through the entire month, Nationwide will donate $5 to the Animal Cancer Foundation, up to $30,000, for every photo, story or statistic shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the #CurePetCancer (hashtag for more information, go to www.curepetcancer.com).

Nationwide launched National Pet Cancer Awareness Month in 2005, calling attention to the deadliest diseases among dogs and cats. Listed below are the 10 most common pet cancer-related claims received by Nationwide last year:

  1. Malignant Skin Neoplasia
  2. Lymphosarcoma
  3. Splenic Neoplasia
  4. Bone or Joint Neoplasia
  5. Hepatic Neoplasia
  6. Thoracic Neoplasia
  7. Bladder Neoplasia
  8. Anal Sac Neoplasia
  9. Malignant Oral Neoplasia
  10. Brain or Spinal Cord Neoplasia

Treatment for these conditions can carry a heavy financial burden for pet owners, and a heavy emotional one for their veterinary care teams. To ensure that Nationwide members receive optimal cancer treatment, and that veterinarian practice the best medicine they can,  Nationwide medical policies include benefits for the diagnosis and treatment of cancerous conditions, such as metastasis screening, chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy.

I hope you will share the information with your clients and get us to $30,000 in record speed. This is a check we look forward to writing every year! Cure pet cancer is a goal for us all.