Oncology Services Available at Care Center Cincinnati
November 6, 2019
A cancer diagnosis can be devastating news, but medical technology has made many advanced treatment options available to pets. Progressive therapies can often slow cancer growth, improve your pet’s quality of life, and, in some cases, provide a cure. If your family veterinarian has diagnosed cancer in your beloved companion, Care Center Cincinnati’s board-certified oncologists will work with her to design a unique treatment plan for your pet that may include a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other treatments.
Surgical oncology for pets with cancer
When cancer is limited to a tumor, surgical excision may be possible. Some tumors can be completely removed for a cure; however, other tumors invade local tissue or bone, and complete excision may not be possible. The tumor’s location, size, and type will determine whether complete excision is possible, or if partial resection is the best option. Care Center’s oncologists and board-certified surgeons collaborate to perform the safest, most advanced procedures. To provide the best treatment plan for every pet, surgery is often combined with other therapies, such as chemotherapy or radiation, for a multimodal approach.
Chemotherapy for pets with cancer
Chemotherapy involves treatment with medications designed to kill rapidly dividing cancer cells. Some chemotherapy medications must be administered by injection at our hospital, whereas oral forms can often be administered by you at home. Human chemotherapy medications often cause debilitating side effects, but veterinary chemotherapy treatments typically cause only minor side effects that can be managed with medications. Chemotherapy is often administered when surgery is not possible, when cancer is disseminated throughout the body instead of confined to a single location, or in addition to surgery to kill cancer cells that may have spread.
Radiation therapy for pets with cancer
Radiation therapy uses a high-energy beam that kills cancer cells by damaging their DNA. Radiation can be used to shrink a tumor before surgical excision, to treat inoperable tumors, or to treat the remaining portion of a partially removed tumor. Conventional radiation treatments are typically administered five days a week for several weeks with the goal of remission. Palliative radiation therapy is administered less frequently as part of a pain management plan for pets for whom a cure is not possible. Radiation causes minimal side effects, and red or flaky skin at the radiation site is the most likely complication.
Stereotactic radiosurgery for pets with cancer
Stereotactic radiosurgery is a new, advanced form of radiation therapy that has been highly successful in human cancer treatment and offers new hope to pets with previously untreatable cancers. Despite its name, stereotactic radiosurgery is a noninvasive, non-surgical treatment for localized cancer. A high dose of precisely focused radiation is directed at cancerous tissue, sparing nearby normal tissue and causing few side effects.
Palliative care for pets with cancer
Unfortunately, despite advanced treatment options, some cancers are incurable. Treatment goals of palliative care include managing pain and ensuring the best quality of life possible for a pet’s remaining time. Palliative care may include radiation therapy, pain medications, alternative pain management therapies, and medications to manage cancer’s side effects. We provide a dignified and comfortable ending for pets who can no longer fight their cancer. Care Center’s oncology department is available to consult with you or your family veterinarian regarding your pet’s cancer treatment. Contact us if you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our oncologists.