Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Horrifying Tuesday: CTVT (Transmissible Cancer)

If you disregard the date this article is released, it's technically, Horrifying Tuesday. Which brings us to the topic of the day, CTVT or, canine transmissible venereal tumor. But before we talk about that, lets talk about STDs. (Just because.) What do you think is the worst possible sexually transmitted disease a human can contract? Herpes? Genital Warts? HIV? How about cancer? Wouldn't it be just the darndest thing, if cancer could simply be transmitted from touch?

Tag: The Game Of Death

Thanks to nature, we now have cancer that is transmittable by touch. But before you take out your radiation suit in preparation to isolate yourself from the world, allow me to remind you that the 'disease' is called the "canine transmissible venereal tumor". That means, only dogs can contract these horrible tumors from each other. One of the only cases of cancer transmitting from human to human was when a surgeon contracted it from a patient when he injured his hand during an operation. So unless you're a careless surgeon that runs around injuring your hand around pleomorphic undifferentiated sarcoma diagnosed people, you're safe. For now.

Canines are one of the only three known animals to have a strand of transmissible cancer in the entire world along with Tasmanian devils and Syrian hamsters. But obviously, you don't want to hear me ramble about hamster cancer. The thing about CTVT is that, it's technically not cancer, but it's definitely cancer. The tumor cells formed on the canine themselves are infectious agents that that are not genetically related to the host canine at all. What that means is that the tumor isn't a part of the host dog, and is it's own living, unicellular asexually reproducing pathogen.


Scientist that have analyzed the DNA of CTVT have noted that the genome of the pathogen most likely originated from a dog, wolf or coyote at least 6,000 years ago. Six millennium cancer that's still alive today? A little creepy isn't it?

But wait, like I said before, it's a pathogen. How exactly is it a "cancer"? Well, CTVT operates in the same core concepts of normal cancer, except for the fact that it is it's own entity. The way it works is similar to a parasite, it'll dig itself into the affected regions, grow, and steal precious nutrients from the victim until it is removed or the victim dies. Think of it as a very bad mold on your bread slices.

Which reminds me; I have some pretty bad mold growing on my feet.

In both a positive and negative way, CTVT is a canine sexually transmitted disease. What this means is that you can keep an eye on your dog's sexual life style while your dog tries to have sex with every item it sees. However, CTVT isn't only transmitted from sexual intercourse, but also transmitted from licking, biting and even sniffing the affected areas. Considering that dogs love sniffing anuses of every animal they come across, we may be at a dilemma.

The positive thing about CTVT is that chemotherapy is extremely effective against the tumors and can most likely remove them permanently. Knowing that your faithful dog Timmy isn't going to die horribly of dog cancer, you can now rest in peace.