When a pet is suspected of having cancer or receives a diagnosis of cancer, our oncology team is here to stage the cancer and treat the disease.
When a pet is suspected of having cancer or receives a diagnosis of cancer, our
oncology team is here to stage the cancer and treat the disease. VRC Oncology provides comprehensive care, which requires the most accurate diagnostic imaging modalities in order to apply the most effective medical, radiation and surgical techniques. We take a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer from every possible angle, and therefore may recommend a combination of treatments. We even offer holistic therapies to support healing and improve comfort. Our goal is to cure the disease or slow its progression of the disease and prolong survival, while preserving your pet’s quality of life. The safety and well-being of each pet is always our top priority.
Medical Oncology VRC features dedicated chemotherapy suites to ensure safe and controlled administration of chemotherapeutic agents. Chemotherapy may be indicated for treating your pet’s cancer, either alone or in combination with other modalities, such as surgery or radiation therapy. While animals can experience side effects from chemotherapy, they are typically less severe than those experienced by humans. As with any procedure, our doctors review the risks and benefits of chemotherapy with pet owners and work closely with referring veterinarians to monitor and manage any side effects.
Radiation Oncology VRC is one of only a few veterinary practices in the U.S. to offer Eclipse 3D conventional, as well as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) with a Varian linear accelerator. VRC’s radiation oncologist is able to utilize the IMRT planning software to deliver radiation treatments with extreme precision and dose control — the same sophisticated technology used to treat cancer in humans.
This advanced equipment enables us to address cancers previously thought to be untreatable by delivering high radiation doses directly to the cancer cells; thus sparing normal surrounding tissues. For some localized tumors, it offers a potential cure. In cases where pets have other life-limiting diseases or a cure is not possible, a lower overall dose of radiation therapy can be given to reduce pain, shrink the tumor, or slow its growth. This is called palliative radiation therapy.
To view a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding radiation oncology at VRC, click HERE.
Surgery is a key strategy for managing cancer in small animals. Surgical removal of the malignant tumor sometimes offers the best chance for a cure. Other times, surgery is useful for diagnostics, palliation (reducing pain and symptoms) and debulking (partial removal of a tumor to make chemotherapy or radiotherapy more effective) when a cure is not possible. Part of a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of cancer, surgery may be combined with preoperative and/or postoperative therapies (chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy) to maximize patient benefits and cure rates while minimizing adverse side effects.
If your pet needs surgery for cancer treatment, together we will weigh the risks and factors such as stage of the disease, quality of life after surgery, prognosis, concurrent diseases and costs, so you can make an informed decision.