A cancer diagnosis is never easy news, but you’re in good hands with the Care Center oncology team. We treat many forms of cancer and offer a variety of treatment options, including chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy and palliative care.
Our compassionate, highly trained staff has access to the latest technology and is here to support you and your pet every step of the way. We’ll discuss different forms of care and help you decide on a treatment plan that will provide your pet with the best quality of life.
Treatment options include the following, individually or in combination:
Medical Oncology delivers medication systemically, treating the whole body. It may be used in addition to surgery or radiation therapy to treat the tumor. Some cancers, such as multicentric lymphoma, are best treated solely through systemic treatment. Medical therapy includes chemotherapy, targeted therapies to inhibit certain receptors, and immunotherapy.
Cancer cells can multiply very rapidly. Most chemotherapy drugs work by inhibiting the cells from dividing, eventually killing them. Chemotherapy may be given intravenously, by injection, or orally.
Compared to humans, pets suffer far less from side effects during chemotherapy treatment. With advancements in supportive therapy, we can often head off any issues before they even begin. Some pets may feel a bit tired or have a decreased appetite for a few days after treatment, but most experience little change in behavior or demeanor. If side effects do occur, speak with our oncology team and we’ll adjust medication to provide the best quality of life for your pet.
Palladia (toceranib phosphate) targets receptors on certain cancer cells, which results in direct cell death. It also targets receptors associated with blood vessel formation, causing indirect cancer cell death by starving the tumor of its blood supply. This treatment is given as a pill at home and requires close monitoring of lab work. Palladia is FDA approved for the treatment of Mast Cell Tumors in dogs and may have a role in treatment for other cancers.
Cancer evades the immune system, allowing the tumor cells to grow unchecked. Immunotherapy uses the body's immune system to fight cancer by either stimulating the immune system to attack cancer cells, or providing the immune system with what it needs to fight cancer, such as antibodies. We offer the Oncept Canine Melanoma Vaccine and may discuss additional immunotherapy treatment options on a case-by-case basis.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy particles or waves to destroy or damage cancer cells. One of the most common treatments for cancer, radiation therapy can be given alone or used with other treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy. At Care Center, we can provide whatever type of radiation therapy is best to treat your pet’s cancer.
An advanced form of radiation therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been extremely effective in treating cancer in humans. Care Center is proud to provide this groundbreaking treatment option to pets. This advanced technology is offering new hope to pets with cancer.
If surgery was performed and not all the cancer could be removed, we may also recommend Conventional Radiation Therapy (RT). Conventional RT works by penetrating cancerous cells and destroying their ability to grow and divide.
It’s used with one of two goals in mind: remission, through definitive treatment, or pain relief, through palliative care. A definitive conventional RT protocol may be delivered in fractions, e.g. 5 days a week over a 3-4 week time frame with the hope of achieving remission—the cessation of all clinical symptoms of the cancer.
Palliative Radiation Therapy is given over a fewer number of fractions when definitive treatment isn’t possible. The intent is to improve the pet’s quality of life by making them more comfortable. The degree of pain relief varies from moderate to total cessation of pain.
Some cancerous tumors can be removed through surgery. Surgical removal may be the primary treatment, or part of a multi-modal treatment process. If surgery isn’t possible, other modalities are available, either alone or in combination. Our board-certified surgeons will help guide you through the evaluation process, and collaborate with our oncology team—as well as your family veterinarian—to customize your pet’s course of treatment.
Our compassionate team is dedicated to providing all our patients with complete and integrated cancer therapy while considering the needs of both the owner and their pet. Care Center is a 24-hour hospital with qualified technicians and doctors available around-the-clock to provide care and monitor your pet during treatments.
For more information, to schedule a consultation, or if you are a veterinarian and would like to make a referral, please contact Kat Bell, Referral Coordinator, at (513) 530-0911. Concierge services are available to assist with travel arrangements.