The role of neutering in cancer development

Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2014 Sep;44(5):965-75. doi: 10.1016/j.cvsm.2014.06.003. Epub 2014 Jul 18.


Increased discussion on the influence of neutering on cancer development has been recently prompted with several studies that seem to indicate that incidence of some cancers may be increased with castration or spaying in our canine populations. Although the data are thought-provoking, we may not be able to extrapolate findings in single dog breeds to the entire species. Additionally, societal and humane issues related to pet overpopulation, as well as the incidence of other noncancerous diseases, behavior issues, and potentially decreased overall lifespan in unaltered animals must be taken into consideration before wholesale rejection of neutering in pets.

Keywords: Cancer; Castration; Neuter; Sex hormone; Spay.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / etiology*
  • Cats
  • Dog Diseases / etiology*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Neoplasms / veterinary*
  • Orchiectomy / veterinary*
  • Ovariectomy / veterinary*