The word ‘cancer’ strikes fear in all of us; however, with new advances in veterinary technology and chemotherapy, many pets are living longer with a greatly improved quality of life. Successful cancer treatment often lies in early detection and identification. Early detection can be difficult at times, as cancer may not only present itself as a lump on the skin, but may arise inside the body. If left undiagnosed, the disease may not be noticed until clinical symptoms develop.
In order to identify the type of cancer, aspirates and biopsies are performed. Once the cancer is identified, it is “staged.” This is accomplished by lymph node sampling, ultrasonography and / or radiology examination.
Treatment depends on the type and location of the cancer. If possible, surgical removal of the tumor is performed. Some types of cancer are responsive to chemotherapy, which include a variety of oral and injectable medications. Dogs and cats tend to tolerate chemotherapy well and rarely develop side effects that are seen in humans. Prior to treatment, blood and urine tests are performed to asses the overall health of your pet.
Chemotherapy is offered at Atlantic Coast Veterinary Specialists. Our primary goal is to obtain a cure. If a cure is not possible, the goal of chemotherapy is to provide a better quality of life for your pet. We recommend treatment only if it is appropriate for your pet.