Message Number: YG6226 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Steve Austin
Date: 2001-08-09 00:57:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Cancer

I like your question, but unfortunately I guess we would
have to speculate why any animal, including man gets cancer.

The thing is that all cells have an imprinted message that tells
them when to stop replicating, what cells they are, and
keeps them from spreading, and in cancer cells this is turned
off or missing. The cell just keeps replicating and growing and
doesn't differentiate and then can have the ability to invade
locally. Any cell type can become cancerous, and there
are probably many that do, but our immune system is able
to stop it, or perhaps repair the cell (like in the skin),
when there is more cells that are damaged then our
body can keep up with we are in trouble.

Exposure to carcinogens, toxins,viruses, genetics, and the immune
system all play important roles in whether a cancer develops
or not. Over time, with age the chances of cells making a
mistake when they copy the DNA and reproduce increases,
and exposure to sun, tobacco, also increase the chances
of certain cells becoming cancerous.

For prevention, in humans generally avoiding carcinogens,
including sun exposure for some skin types, routine exams.
good diet and staying healthy is the
best we can do. So, to translate that to ferrets, feeding a good
diet, bringing to the vet for preventative care and good exams,
is the best we can do for them.

If insulinomas are more prevalent in those fed kibble, then either
a BARF diet, or a good quality kibble may help. In adrenal,
perhaps a late neuter/spay, and staying with a natural light
cycle, and providing areas for complete darkness for the ferret
also may help, although nothing is proven conclusive.


> Why do ferrets get cancer? What causes them to get it?
> How can I prevent them from getting cancer?
> With empty arms,
> Margie Missing Bubba
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