November is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Brea, Calif. (Nov. 2, 2015) - November is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month and Nationwide is partnering with the Animal Cancer Foundation (ACF) to increase awareness and raise funds to fight the number one disease-related killer of dogs and cats. Last year, Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, received more than 67,000 pet insurance claims for cancer diagnosis and treatment in pets, making cancer-related conditions one of the most common types of medical claims.  In fact, last year Nationwide pet insurance members accumulated more than $20 million in medical expenses for the top 10 pet cancer-related conditions. In a continuing effort to educate pet owners about the prevalence, detection and treatment of pet cancer, Nationwide recognizes November as National Pet Cancer Awareness Month.

During the month of November, Nationwide will donate $5 to the Animal Cancer Foundation, up to $20,000, for every photo, story or statistic shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #CurePetCancer.

Partnering with the Animal Cancer Foundation, Nationwide will also host the 10th annual Nationwide K9K Pet Cancer Awareness Walk on Sunday, Nov. 8 in Long Beach, Calif., to raise funds for pet cancer research. To date, Nationwide has raised more than $250,000 to benefit the Animal Cancer Foundation. For more information, visit

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

Most Common Cancerous Conditions in Pets
1. Lymphosarcoma or Lymphoma
2. Skin Cancer (Malignant Skin Neoplasia)
3. Splenic (Spleen) Cancer
4. Bone or Joint Cancer
5. Hepatic (Liver) Cancer
6. Thoracic (Chest) Cancer
7. Bladder Cancer
8. Brain or Spinal Cord Cancer
9. Oral Cancer or Malignant Oral Neoplasia
10. Anal Gland Cancer

“Veterinary care has evolved greatly over the years and many treatment options we have for humans can now be done to save the lives of our pets,” said Liles. “As such, these treatments can run into the thousands of dollars. A pet insurance policy can offset these costs, allowing pet owners to make optimal healthcare decisions for their pets based on their veterinarian’s recommendation rather than on the cost of treatment.”

Treatment for these conditions can carry a heavy financial burden for pet owners. Lymphosarcoma or Lymphoma is the most common and most expensive condition on the list, costing policyholders an average of $2,082 per pet.  To ensure that Nationwide members receive optimal cancer treatment, Nationwide medical policies include benefits for the diagnosis and treatment of cancerous conditions, such as chemotherapy, radiation and metastasis screening. 

“Just like humans, cancer is a looming danger in the lives of our pets,” said Dr. Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, Vice President and Chief Veterinary Medical Officer for Nationwide. “The prevalence of pet cancer continues to increase year over year. Last year we received 4,000 more pet cancer related claims than the year prior. However, there is hope for owners whose pets are suffering from cancer. Advances in treatment and early detection, along with affordable financial solutions, have given pet lovers a number of options to fight back.

Pet Cancer Detection Tips

To detect cancer early, pet owners should be attentive to any growing lumps or sores on their pet that fail to heal. They should also monitor their pet for: 1) drastic changes in the pet’s appetite or weight; 2) unusually strong odors coming from a pet; 3) discharge or bleeding from any body opening; 4) difficulty chewing or swallowing; or 5) an unwillingness to exercise.

Further detection tips and information about National Pet Cancer Awareness Month, as well as registration information for the Nationwide K9K Pet Cancer Awareness Walk, can be found by visiting For more information about the Animal Cancer Foundation, please go to

Note to editors: For further information or to request Nationwide’s “Pet Cancer Facts and Figures” infographic please contact Ryan Whittington at

About pet insurance from Nationwide

With more than 550,000 insured pets, pet insurance from Nationwide, formerly known as Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Since 1982, Nationwide has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.

Nationwide plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, one in three Fortune 500 companies offers pet insurance from Nationwide as an employee benefit.

Insurance plans are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A rated company (2013); National Casualty Company (all other states), Madison, WI, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2014). Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide Is On Your Side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2015 Nationwide. Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook or follow on  Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit

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