Few things are tougher than learning your pet has cancer. We face it with you. It falls on us to diagnose and treat cancers such as lymphosarcoma, mast cell tumor, malignant melanoma, carcinoma, sarcoma, and others. Our approach to treating cancer relies on knowledge, cutting-edge technology, specialized training, and compassion. We’ll work hard to achieve the best outcome for your pet. Giving your pet the best quality of life as long as possible is our objective.
Cancer consists of aggressive cells that overcome the immune system and invade surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to other organs. While numerous cancers affect dogs and cats, veterinary medicine is making wonderful advances in their diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and often a combination of therapies. We’ll discuss your options and what you can expect from a treatment plan.
Chemotherapy treats cancerous cells with medicines that kill or slow their growth and spread. It can take place singly or in combination with surgery and/or radiation therapy. Pets generally tolerate chemotherapy well, with far fewer side effects than people experience. We typically use lower dosages than those given people, and less undesirable side effects result. Our goal is simple: to maintain the highest possible quality of life for the longest possible time.
SCVSEC’s oncology unit – a 2,700-square-foot-facility – is the second veterinary practice in the world to upgrade to the HalcyonTM treatment system for radiation therapy, and the first in South Carolina to provide stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) to pets. SRS, a leading treatment option in human cancer care, is now available for pets at SCVSEC. The noninvasive therapy is typically delivered with the intent to cure the cancer, as opposed to merely easing its symptoms. SRS can be utilized to target any identifiable tumor, delivering high doses of radiation with unprecedented precision to maximize impact on cancerous tissue while minimizing contact with the surrounding healthy tissue, with fewer side effects than traditional radiation therapy to help maintain patients’ quality of life. More information on radiation oncology at SCVSEC can be found here.
We use immunotherapy to treat malignant melanoma in dog, a cancer that responds poorly to surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. It has however demonstrated significant response to a new vaccine treatment.
Surgery to biopsy, de-bulk, or remove a tumor is often part of a multi-modal treatment plan. We work closely with surgeons on our campus to design the best possible treatment plan for your loved one.
Chemoembolization:: Most tumors are treated with some combination of surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. In some cases, direct delivery of anti-tumor medication into a blood vessel supplying a cancerous growth can provide additional benefit in fighting cancer and improving quality of life. Please see our interventional radiology page for more information on other minimally invasive procedures performed here at SCVSEC.