Hillcrest Animal Hospital oncology veterinarians and staff provide a unique blend of knowledge, experience, compassion and patience which we believe is vital to helping you make the best decisions for your pet during a challenging time.
After reviewing your pet’s medical history and diagnosis we sit down with you and your pet to discuss the disease, additional recommended diagnostics (staging), treatment options, side effects and prognosis. We strive to make sure you are well-informed and know that your pet’s needs and quality of life are our priority. Cancer can be treated by several different therapies or combination of treatments including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapies or palliative care when appropriate.
After a diagnosis of cancer is determined, the next step is often staging. Staging refers to additional diagnostics that help to determine the extent of cancer in the body, which allows us to optimize treatment recommendations and better predict prognosis.
When staging is complete we will discuss appropriate treatment options. This may involve medical, surgical and/or radiation options. Our cohesive team of veterinarians will help to give you all options. Medical therapy could involve chemotherapy – this refers to medications given injectably or orally that act on the whole body to kill abnormal cells. Immunotherapy options are also available, primarily to treat melanoma and lymphoma – these therapies stimulate the bodies’ own immune system to fight cancer. Targeted therapies have also become very successful in a number of cancers and involve administration of oral medications.
Radiation therapy is a primary weapon in the fight against cancer, often when cancer cannot be completely controlled with surgery. The radiation oncology team is highly experienced in treating cancers with radiation while limiting exposure to normal tissues, thereby minimizing side effects. The team functions in an integral fashion with our medical oncologists, radiologists, surgeons, neurologists and other veterinarians to offer comprehensive care for your pet companion.