There's always a sense of panic when the word Cancer is mentioned at the end of a list of possibilities of why you're in to see the doctor. When Cancer is diagnosed in our beloved dogs or cats, we're inclined already mourn our stricken friends. We're inclined to instantly assume that the outcome will be the word that hasn't entered the conversation yet, "Euthanasia".
This is most certainly not the goal, nor is it the appropriate reaction to Cancer. Let's get things straight, as your pet ages check-ups are important. As we all know spotting the big 'C' can be part of that but most definitely discovery does not mean euthanasia.
Pain control and prevention is vital when working through a course of treatment of Cancer. It's the goal of the veterinary staff to seek these supportive measures to help your pet and prevent any secondary sicknesses that can occur as a result of Cancer.
In many instances surgery is used to allow a diagnosis along with confirming the possible treatment of Cancer. In these cases Grading and Staging are key factors along with an assessment of the local and systemic effects. In some cases, alternative treatments are explored. A decision is made through good communication between Veterinary team and the pet owner/family.
Radiation Therapy is very much like that of X-rays that we are familiar with in the imaging part of medicine. But when we use Radiation Therapy to treat Cancer it is a focused form of delivery, purposely confined to the area of treatment as best as possible. The reason behind this is because all cells targeted by radiation will suffer cell death. They will no longer reproduce, and hence tumour growth stops.