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November is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Nationwide® and Animal Cancer Foundation partner to #CurePetCancer

In an ongoing effort to raise awareness about the prevalence of pet cancer, Nationwide recognizes November as National Pet Cancer Awareness Month. Statistics show that one in four dogs and one in five cats in the U.S. will develop cancer in their lifetimes,1 making it the number one disease-related cause of death for our canine and feline companions.

Nationwide is doing its part to support research efforts by donating up to $75,000 to Animal Cancer Foundation on behalf of those who register for the virtual Nationwide Pet Cancer Awareness Walk hosted by WoofTrax, Inc. and Animal Cancer Foundation. Participants may register on the WoofTrax mobile app and take walks at their convenience between November 1 and December 31, 2020. Those walking with their dogs are encouraged to post photos on their favorite social media platforms using the hashtag #CurePetCancer. For details and registration, visit wooftrax.com/curepetcancer.

Over the last ten years, Nationwide has donated more than $400,000 to Animal Cancer Foundation’s mission to find a cure for cancer by funding research in and increasing public awareness of comparative oncology, the study of naturally occurring cancers in pets and people. Funds from this year’s campaign will support the Canine Cancer Genome Project.

In 2019, Nationwide received 106,585 pet insurance claims for cancer diagnosis and treatment for 23,502 pets, making cancer-related conditions one of the most common types of medical claims. Within that year, Nationwide pet insurance members claimed approximately $44 million in medical expenses and treatment for the following top 10 pet cancer-related conditions (in order of prevalence).

1. Skin cancer
2. Lymph node cancer/Lymphoma
3. Spleen cancer
4. Liver cancer
5. Bone or joint cancer

6. Lung cancer or cancer within the chest cavity
7. Bladder cancer
8. Oral cancer

9. Anal gland cancer
10. Metastatic cancer (cancer that spreads to other parts of the body)

Chemotherapy, radiation and other expenses associated with treatment of these conditions often present an unanticipated financial burden to pet parents. Lymphoma is the second most common and second most expensive condition on the list, costing Nationwide members an average of $1,807 per pet. Cancer of the anal sac is the most expensive on the list to treat, costing members an average of $1,914 per pet.

“Cancer can be a frightening diagnosis in pets and people both,” said Dr. Jules Benson, Nationwide’s Chief Veterinary Officer. "But thanks to advancements in diagnostics and treatments, in many cases veterinarians are able to treat or manage the disease, maintaining quality of life. We’re doing our best to keep the good news coming, and to help our members with the costs of getting the care they need for their pets.”

To ensure that Nationwide members receive optimal cancer treatment, medical policies include benefits for the diagnosis and treatment of cancerous conditions, such as exams, metastasis screening, chemotherapy, radiation and immunotherapy.

1 Animal Cancer Foundation, “Cancer & Your Pet: What You Should Know”