Our latest find was all about solitude – until it became about saving the lives of millions of animals and humans who have cancer. Tucked into a 1988 paperback copy of the classic self-help book, "Solitude," by Anthony Storr, was a colorful map of the Colorado State University campus. It shows all of the buildings and roads on the campus, along with a key to help people find them.
This could have been the map for a prospective college student to use during a visit to the campus, right? We thought so at first, too, but our eyes were then drawn to the word "vet" written in pencil with a question mark next to it. We wondered what that meant, so we did a little research and discovered that while Colorado State University is known as an institution that provides a college education, it also contains the Flint Animal Cancer Center, a cutting edge facility that treats cancer in companion animals. Pioneers in what is known as Comparative Oncology, the CSU Flint Animal Cancer Center draws conclusions between the findings discovered in treating cancer in companion animals and the treatments that are similarly used in humans suffering with cancer, as well. In other words, The Flint Animal Cancer Center treats animals and translates their discoveries to solutions for people.
How prevalent is cancer in dogs in cats? We were wondering, too. According to the National Cancer Institute, out of the 65 million dogs and 32 million cats in the United States, six million new cancer diagnoses are made for each – 12 million diagnoses, total – every year. Because it has been discovered that dogs and humans contain many similar genes that are present in cancer, comparative oncology has led to the creation and study of the canine genome sequence for human cancer research. Researchers also hypothesize that in addition to genetic connections, the fact that humans and their cats/dogs share similar water, air and environments create a viable connection for research, as well.
Upon looking over Colorado State University's website for the Flint Animal Cancer Center, we quickly got swept up in their many stories of hope (complete with adorable pictures) surrounding animals such as Gouda, the cat who is recovering after treatment from nasal cancer, and Benson, the dog who is currently cancer-free after battling lymphoma. We could not help but wonder (a common occurrence for us when we discover finds in our used books) if the person who left the map of CSU behind in the book was seeking cancer treatments for their pet, also. We’ll most likely never know, so, to ease our hearts, we'll assume that their pet could very well be Gouda, Benson, or any of the other success stories we read on their website.
The copy of “Solitude” can be yours for the price of $4.99 (complete with the map that got us started on this quest of learning to begin with). You can catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook. Better yet, stop by our store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!