Companion Animal Cancer Treatments Part 2: Radiation, when is it appropriate?

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Companion Animal Cancer Treatments Part 2: Radiation, when is it appropriate?

02:00 25 September in by Genevieve Scott

Welcome to part two of our multi-series blog post, designed to help you understand the treatments available for your furry friend when they are diagnosed with cancer. While there is no cure to cancer, we hope our insight will help you make the right decision as advised by your veterinarian.

Last we week we discussed Chemotherapy and when this treatment usally prescribed. If you missed last week's article, click here to read it. This week we will be talking about Radiation as a cancer treatment and when it is the right time to use it.

When is radiation used to treat animals with cancer?

Radiation, like chemotherapy, may be recommended as a standalone treatment for patients or in combination with other treatment options. Radiation is most often used for tumors that haven’t spread or as a palliative treatment to help relieve pain and other symptoms of the disease.

Radiation can be used to treat almost any localized tumor but it is most often used to treat animals with the following types of cancer:

  • Oral tumors
  • Brain tumors
  • Nasal tumors
  • Bone tumors
  • Mast cell tumors
  • Soft tissue sarcomas

Radiation is also often used when a tumor can not be fully removed surgically. Surgery combined with radiation is common when treating soft tissue sarcomas, mast cell tumors, and other superficial tumors that can not be completely removed with surgery.

When administering radiation therapy, a machine directs high-energy radiation at the cancer site on the patient’s body. Treatment typically lasts between 5 and 20 minutes and the animal is placed under general anesthesia so that they remain perfectly still while the radiation is being administered.

A patient’s radiation oncologist and veterinarian will work as a team to keep the patient as comfortable as possible during treatment. They will also discuss what side effects can be expected while a patient is undergoing radiation therapy based on the frequency and duration of the treatment plan.

Vetrix, we’ve partnered with Torigen Pharmaceuticals to bring to market a whole cell tissue immunotherapy, utilizing the animal’s own tumor cells, that allows for a variety of tumor antigens to be presented to the immune system—VetiVax.

If you have a pet or patient with cancer and want to know more about VetiVax today, click here or give us a call at 678-278-8277.

Check back next week as we explore immunotherapies and the types of cancer they are used to treat.