Do you know that 25% of all dogs will get cancer , that means 1 out of every 4 dogs will get cancer.  Skin cancer encompasses a broad category of tumors that includes any uncontrolled growth of cells of the skin or associated structures such as glands, hair follicles and supportive tissues (fat and connective tissue).  The skin is the most common site of cancer in dogs, affecting older dogs who are about 6 to 14 years of age, although there are several types of skin cancers that occur in young animals as well . The cause of most skin cancers is really unknown, sun exposure has been shown to cause a higher incidence of two types of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma and hemangioma. Light-colored dogs with thin haircoats that spend time in the sun have a higher risk of developing either squamous cell carcinoma or hemangioma.  Skin cancers can be divided into four categories, depending upon the cell type that is involved. These categories are epithelial tumors, mesenchymal tumors, round cell tumors and melanomas.  Most skin cancers appear as a lump in or underneath the skin or as a sore that does not heal. Animals with skin cancer may experience discomfort or itchiness because of the cancer ( his is also the case with humans). This may cause them to chew or scratch at the affected area. With certain types of cancer, there may also be redness to the skin or it may have a flaky appearance.  If you dog has a lump, a sore that doesn't heal or a body area that they keep chewing on, please take them to the vet to be checked. Pet cancer like a lot of cancers can be treated effectively when caught early. My neighbor went through cancer with her dog. I am happy to report that both are now doing well. I highly recommend pet insurance. Cancer treatment in dogs just like in humans can be very expensive and having pet insurance to help with that cost can help to relieve the additional stress.  Don't forget to suntan lotion on your pets noses!Tonua