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Cecilia Lopez

DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)
Dr. Lopez
Veterinary Specialist
Oncology
Dr. Lopez

At a Glance

Practicing Since:

2013

Dr. Cecilia Lopez is a board certified medical oncologist at VCA ARECA. She graduated veterinary school from Texas A&M University in 2013 and completed a rotating small animal internship at VCA Veterinary Specialty Center of Seattle. Prior to joining our group she completed a medical oncology residency at The Ohio State University, benefiting from a comprehensive approach to veterinary oncology by working as part of a team in an integrated service with surgical and radiation oncologists. At ARECA, she oversees treatments including chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and palliative treatments.  Dr. Lopez also assists with cancer diagnosis and staging.  She is passionate about helping to educate pet owners about the many options that may be available for treating cancer, personalizing treatment plans for individual patients, and supporting the human-animal bond with compassionate and expert care.  

Outside of veterinary medicine, Dr. Lopez loves spending time with her family, including her husband and baby boy. She likes traveling, exploring the local hikes and restaurants, and has two dogs and two cats. Dr. Lopez is fluent in Spanish.

Oncology

What Is A Veterinary Oncologist?

A board certified veterinary oncologist is a veterinary internal medicine specialist who has also obtained additional training in veterinary oncology. A veterinary oncologist has specialized knowledge in the diagnosis of cancer, the staging of tumors, the development of treatment plans, and the administration of chemotherapy. 

When your pet is faced with cancer, a veterinary oncologist will typically work in concert with your pet's general practitioner veterinarian in order to obtain the best possible medical outcome for your pet. A veterinary oncologist can help your pet by developing treatment plans that incorporate one or all of the following options:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiation Therapy

While your general practitioner veterinarian can diagnose and treat many health problems, certain diseases like cancer require the care of a doctor who has had specialized, intensive training in veterinary oncology.

Why Does My Pet Need A Veterinary Oncologist?

Just as in humans, a pet with cancer typically needs the help of an oncologist to help diagnose and treat the disease. Veterinary oncologists determine the most appropriate course of treatment and coordinate the treatment program for pets with cancer. They also frequently serve as consultants to veterinarians in private practice to ensure that their patients receive the best treatment possible for their cancer. 

You can be assured that a veterinarian who refers you and your pet to a veterinary oncologist is one who is caring and committed to ensuring that your pet receives the highest standard of medical care for his or her illness. 

While in some cases, your veterinarian may be able to simply consult with the veterinary oncologist about your pet's care, in other cases it is necessary to actually refer you and your pet to the veterinary oncologist for more advanced diagnostics and treatment. Board-certified veterinary oncologists may also have access to specialized diagnostic or treatment tools that a general practitioner veterinarian may not have.

My Pet Has Cancer. Now What?

Cancer does appear to be becoming more common in pets, most likely because they are simply living longer. The most important point to realize about this dreaded disease, however, is that just as in people, many forms of the disease can be easily treated, managed, and even cured. Early detection and specialized care are leading to increased survival and cure rates in almost all the types of cancers that afflict pets. 

From surgery to chemotherapy to radiation therapy, veterinary cancer specialists can offer your pet the very latest diagnostic and treatment options and the best chance of survival. With optimal treatment, cancer in many cases simply becomes another manageable chronic disease.

If your pet is diagnosed with cancer, it is important not to become overwhelmed. Ask your veterinarian to write down the most important points for you to review later. Although the disease is serious, treatment decisions generally do not need to be made quickly. If your pet is diagnosed with cancer, however, you will either want to have your general practice veterinarian work in consultation with a veterinary oncologist, or be referred to one of these specialists for your pet's treatment.

Veterinary oncologists typically treat:

  • Lymphoma
  • Mast cell tumor
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Melanoma
  • Soft tissue sarcoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Injection site sarcoma
  • Hemangiosarcoma
  • Thyroid carcinoma
  • Primary lung tumors
  • Insulinomas
  • Transitional cell carcinomas
     

Will My Regular Veterinarian Still Be Involved?

In most cases, your regular veterinarian will still supervise your pet's veterinary care and will work in tandem with the veterinary oncologist, veterinary radiation oncologist, and any other members of your pet's veterinary health care team. 

Did You Know?

Dogs and cats have higher age adjusted incidence rates for many kinds of cancers than do humans. For example, dogs are 35 times more likely to get skin cancer than are humans. They suffer from 8 times the amount of bone cancer and 4 times the amount of breast cancer. However, humans are more likely to get lung and stomach cancers than pets.

Our Oncology Team

Credentialed Veterinary Technician Supervisor
VCA Animal Referral and Emergency Center of Arizona

1648 N. Country Club Dr.

Mesa, AZ 85201

Main: 480-898-0001

Fax: 480-898-3111

Hospital Hours:

    Mon-Sun: Open 24 hours

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