Following a diagnosis of cancer, several treatment options are typically offered and discussed at length.
Treatment options will be different depending on the type and location of your pet’s cancer, the extent (stage) of cancer in your pet, and the expectations for response. Treatments for pets generally parallel treatments for humans and the most common options are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy; treatments may be used alone or in combination depending on the cancer type. Additional therapies recently introduced in veterinary oncology include biological (targeted) therapy and immunotherapy.
Surgery is the most common treatment for cancer management in pets.
Chemotherapy is sometimes the primary treatment for some cancers or it can be used in combination with surgery and/or radiation therapy.
Radiation therapy uses ionizing radiation to induce DNA damage within cancer cells, which ultimately results in cancer cell death. External beam radiation therapy is the most common type of radiation therapy.
Biologic therapies are treatments that act on processes that are occurring in cells. Biologic therapies often try to selectively kill cancer cells by targeting unique processes to cancer cells as opposed to normal cells.