I think it's a combination of things. Sometimes you just can't beat genetics. Max's Dad died of cancer a bit after he was born - I wonder about the influence of that too.
I think we can do things to cause cancer (food and vaccines, toxins, etc), and I think sometimes, no matter what you do, it still strikes. In those latter instances, I do think what you do can help influence outcome once the cancer is there in many circumstances. For example, Indy had a MCT for nearly 5 years, but with some luck, it stayed slow growing and relatively contained until it was discovered. I attribute that to the type of care that she gets.
For lymphoma in particular, I think tick diseases and blood borne diseases make a dog more susceptible. We have seen it too much on the boards, but we've also seen far too much Hemangiosarcoma.
GSDs are known for having low IgA, a part of the immune system. I don't know how that affects cancer, but I do think it creates more immune system reactions, and also susceptibility to infections.
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