Oncology & Surgical Oncology
VSC offers a variety of therapies and treatment options that we customize to meet your pet’s individual needs. Our team is trained in radiology, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, integrative assessment, surgical oncology, and palliative care. No matter what type of Cancer your pet has, and no matter what treatment plan we adopt, our goal is always the same: to cure the patient while maintaining good to excellent quality of life during the entire treatment.
What Are The Benefits Of Oncology?
Even though talking to an oncologist can feel overwhelming at first, the practice offers hope for animals who have been diagnosed with cancer. Our team approach provides advanced, integrated medicine, expert advice, compassionate care, and unparalleled support throughout the entire process. Above all, our goal is to extend life and quality of life for your pet. We use state-of-the-art medicines and therapies to ensure the best possible results and give you more time with your companion.
Treatment Methods We Use
- Clinical pathology: The interpretation of tissue samples by board-certified clinical pathologists. Clinical Pathology supports the diagnosis of disease through laboratory testing of tissues and bodily fluids as well as the microscopic evaluation of individual cells.
- Chemotherapy: The administration of a variety of drugs that destroy only rapidly growing cells (like most cancer cells), and not healthy cells. These drugs may be administered orally, subcutaneously, or intravenously. Chemotherapy drugs are most commonly used when a tumor affects more than one area of the body and for tumors that have a high chance of metastasizing. Fortunately, unlike humans, animals generally have mild side effects from chemotherapy.
- Immunotherapy: A treatment designed to utilize and enhance the body’s immune system resistance to an active disease process such as cancer. Immunotherapy can range from a cancer vaccine to the injection of chemicals that stimulate the body’s immune system (cytokines). Generally less toxic than traditional chemotherapy, immunotherapy can be very effective when a tumor is already recognized as foreign by the body.
- Radiation Therapy: A treatment that is most often used in coordination with surgery for tumors that cannot be completely removed by surgery alone. Radiation reduces the size of the tumor, allowing it to be removed more easily and with fewer side effects. Generally, radiation treatments are administered under general anesthesia and are not painful to the patient. Our Oncology team will refer you to the facility that works best for your individual needs.
- Brachytherapy: A form of radiation that is administered directly to the cancerous area via a portable x-ray source, rather than a radioactive material as with conventional radiation therapy. This method of radiation therapy appears to be effective for a variety of tumor types, is less expensive than conventional external beam therapy, may deliver less damaging radiation to normal tissue, and can be delivered over a much shorter time period.
- Surgery: For many cancer types, surgery remains the single most effective treatment option. Surgery can be part of a more comprehensive treatment plans that include chemotherapy and radiation to control and minimize the tumor before and after surgery. Oncologic surgery can be used to remove a section of a tumor for examination (incisional biopsy), or to remove all visible tumor for both eradication and examination (excisional biopsy). Surgery can be useful in diagnosing, staging, and treating cancer.
All of these methods may be used in isolation or in concert with each other, allowing us to create a specialized treatment plan that has the most hope of success.
Caring For Your Pet During Treatment
Your pet can remain healthy, happy, and relatively active while undergoing treatment for cancer. Our specialists at VSC offer comprehensive oncological care and are happy to discuss additional treatments and therapies you can use to help your pet thrive during the healing process. Many pet owners find that treatments such as acupuncture and nutritional counseling have enormous benefits for their pets, reducing side effects and improving quality of life.