A board-certified veterinary oncologist is a veterinary internal medicine specialist who has also obtained additional training and certification in veterinary oncology. A veterinary oncologist has specialized knowledge in the diagnosis of cancer, the staging of tumors, the development of treatment plans, and the administration of chemotherapy. When your pet is faced with cancer, a veterinary oncologist will typically work in concert with your pet’s general practitioner veterinarian in order to obtain the best possible medical outcome for your pet. A veterinary oncologist can help your pet by developing treatment plans that incorporate one or all of the following options:
- Radiation Therapy
My Pet Has Cancer. Now What?
Cancer does appear to be becoming more common in pets. Dogs and cats have higher age adjusted incidence rates for many kinds of cancers than do humans. For example, dogs are 35 times more likely to get skin cancer than are humans. They suffer from 8 times the amount of bone cancer and 4 times the amount of breast cancer. Humans, however, are more likely to get lung and stomach cancers than pets.
The most important point to realize about this dreaded disease, however, is that just as in people, many forms of the disease can be treated, managed, and even cured. Early detection and specialized care are leading to increased survival and cure rates in almost all the types of cancers that afflict pets. From surgery to chemotherapy to radiation therapy, veterinary cancer specialists can offer your pet the very latest diagnostic and treatment options and the best chance of survival. With optimal treatment, cancer in many cases becomes a manageable chronic disease.
Veterinary oncologists typically treat:
- Any Cancer including:
- Skin tumors (mast cell tumors, squamous cell carcinoma)
- Mammary tumors
- Endocrine tumors
- Soft Tissue Sarcoma
Will my pet get sick from treatment?
Your veterinary oncologist will give you specific instructions regarding your pet’s chemotherapy, but in general, pets handle chemotherapy regimens far better than people do. Our goal is for your pet to live a normal life while being treated for cancer.
Finally, veterinary oncologists have many options to help keep your pet comfortable during treatment for his or her disease. From pain management options to special nutritional recommendations to medications that can help lessen the nausea associated with chemotherapy, veterinary oncologists can keep most pets very comfortable during treatment.
Services offered (but not limited to):
- Surgery (coordination with surgeons)
- Radiation (coordination with radiation facilities)
- Metronomic (low dose)
- Immunotherapy (Oncept melanoma vaccine)
- Novel anticancer drugs (Palladia, Tanovea, Fidocure, Laverdia)
- Abdominal ultrasound (coordination with internist)
- CT scan
- Fine needle aspirate
- Bone marrow aspirate
- Tissue biopsy
Veterinary Cancer Information
- The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine: www.acvim.org
- The American College of Veterinary Surgeons: www.acvs.org
- The AVMA Vaccine Associated Feline Sarcoma Task Force: www.avma.org/vafstf
- Colorado State University: www.csuanimalcancercenter.com
- The Comparative Oncology Research Exchange at Cornell University: www.vet.cornell.edu/cancer/index.html
- Morris Animal Foundation: www.morrisanimalfoundation.org
- National Canine Cancer Foundation: www.wearethecure.org
- Veterinary Cancer Society: http://www.vetcancersociety.org
If you are a pet owner and suspect your pet might have cancer or if you are a veterinarian would like to refer one of your patients to our care, call (207) 885-1290 to speak to one of our board-certified oncologists today.