A cancer diagnosis for your beloved pet can be frightening. But veterinary specialists who treat cancer in pets – they’re called oncologists, just like in human medicine – want you to know there are more treatment options available now than in times past.
With years of advanced study and experience in treating pet cancers, veterinary oncologists say almost every pet can be helped to some degree. For some pets, that may mean a cure is possible. For other pets, there may be palliative treatments that provide an improved quality of life.
In this video, we see what chemotherapy for pets looks like as Dr. Brooke Britton, oncologist at BluePearl in Downtown NY, explains her role in supporting pet owners through the treatment process.
Veterinary oncologists often work with other specialists at BluePearl. Because cancer symptoms can vary and may involve other conditions, many pets are diagnosed first by an internal medicine, surgery or other specialist and then are seen by the oncologist.
Veterinary oncologists use many of the same types of cancer treatments that are available in human medicine: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Sometimes a treatment plan includes a combination of these methods.
Oncology specialists work together with the primary care veterinarian and the pet parent to create a customized plan for each patient. The goal is always to improve quality of life, while minimizing unpleasant side effects.
Radiation therapy works by killing rapidly dividing cells, such as cancer cells.