A few cancer facts:
- Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells on or within the body. Not all cancers are the same. Depending on the location and biologic behavior there maybe several treatment options available.
- Cancer is the leading cause of death in pet cats and dogs in the United States. As many as 50% of pets die of cancer.
- Cancer is often a treatable or even curable disease with specialized cancer care.
- Many of the same treatments that are available for humans are now available for pets. These treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.
- Different cancers may require different forms of treatment. Some patients will only need tumor removal, whereas others may need a combination of treatments.
Take the first few steps once a diagnosis of cancer has been made.
Take Charge and Don't Panic
Gather Information and Ask Questions
What type of cancer does my pet have?
How advanced is the cancer at this point?
Are there any health factors about my pet or the cancer that alter the anticipated outcome or the treatments available?
Often there are additional tests or pieces of information that are needed for the medical team to fully understand the nature of your pet’s cancer. You should inquire about the costs of suggested tests, less expensive alternatives and the advantages and disadvantages of the various options. Once the medical team has the information they need, they can discuss the treatment options available.
Make a List of Treatment Options
There is no “right” or “wrong” option for cancer treatment. Options often include treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or combinations of these. There are also minimal treatment options available as well. Because there is more than one way to treat
What Are Your Goals for Treatment?
Don't Forget: You Can Stop At Any Time
Get Support From Others
Be Your Pet's Advocate
Your companion needs an advocate throughout the decision process and treatment of cancer. You know your dog or cat’s personality, habits, emotions,