Pets are part of the family, and nothing is depressing than to see a family member sick. It’s even worse if they are suffering from something serious like cancer. If your pet is diagnosed with cancer, the treatment options can seem overwhelming. Like in humans, cancer treatment for pets will depend on factors such as tumor type, size, grade, location among other specific variables.
With the advanced cancer treatments and awareness programs, however, your veterinary oncology will explore various treatments including curative, surgery, therapy or other treatment options aimed at reducing the spread of cancer and its effects. Here are some of the main cancer treatment for pets and can be administered in combination with other therapies or as a stand-alone treatment.
Surgery is perhaps the first line of treatment when dealing with a localized cancer in animals. It’s also the oldest and the most effective type of cancer treatment being used today. Surgery aims to eliminate cancer cells completely and may be combined with radiation therapy or chemotherapy, depending on the individual’s pet case.
In most cases, surgery becomes successful if the cancer is detected early before it spreads beyond its original location. While cancer surgery is aimed to ensure complete removal of cancer, the procedure is also used to remove a tumor that seems to cause discomfort or interfere with the animal’s anatomy and physiology functions. Unfortunately, however, if cancer has metastasized to other body parts, then surgery won’t be the most effective treatment for your pet.
Radiation therapy is one of the common cancer treatment options in both human and animals. The main goal of this treatment is to cure and not just to ease symptoms or minimize the spread of cancer. Also referred to as x-ray therapy or radioisotope irradiation, radiation therapy is highly effective in eliminating cancerous cells through a noninvasive procedure. It directly targets the tumor without little effect on the adjacent healthy tissues.
Additionally, radiation therapy has been effectively used to treat cancer located in vital body organs such as the lungs, liver, brain or spine. And unlike conventional radiation therapy which will mostly require 15-21 treatment sessions, your pet will only require about three radiation sessions to destroy or injure cancer cells and stop their reproduction cycle.
This is another common cancer treatment for pets that can be found in most animal hospitals. Chemotherapy uses medications to kill cancer cells, and it’s used to treat and manage numerous types of cancer such as blood-cell cancers and cancers in advanced stages. Veterinarians will prescribe chemotherapy based on your the type of cancer, severity, your pet’s condition and any immediate cost implications.
Chemotherapy may be administered orally, direct into the tumor or intravenously, which can be into a vain, muscle or beneath the skin. The treatment, however, will be delivered with the pet’s health and comfort in mind and the good thing is that animals respond well to chemotherapy than humans.
This is another cancer treatment for pets, but not effective as chemotherapy, surgery or radiation therapy. Immunotherapy involves the use of antibodies to harness the power and use the pet’s immune system to combat cancer. It depends on the body’s natural defense mechanism to reduce or suppress signals produced by cancer cells.
This treatment involves the use localized freezing temperatures to freeze off cancerous cells. It’s best applied to superficial tumors, warts, and diseased tissues. Commonly applied to the oral cavity, eyelids, skin, and peri-anal region.
These are the main cancer treatment options for your pets. However, with the advanced strides towards establishing a comprehensive cure for cancer. Nothing has been achieved so far. No single treatment can guarantee cancer-free environment both in humans and animals. That’s why doctors will sometimes recommend to try out a combination of different treatments. If you prefer not to subject your pet to any treatment, especially if chances of getting well are minimum, you are advised to consider palliative care. This options simply try to manage pain and improves a pet’s quality of life,