The Hawaii Cancer Center for Pets

For pet families who have been faced with a diagnosis of cancer in their pet VCA Gentle Vets and the Hawaii Cancer Center for Pets offer something that can be summed up in one word. HOPE. The Hawaii Cancer Center for Pets offers the latest in medical advances for the treatment of cancer in your pets. Utilizing the latest in telemedicine technologies our doctors coordinate with cancer specialists around the world to bring the most advanced treatments available globally right here to Hawaii. By combining assets of the most advanced techniques in the world your pet will live the longest happiest fullest life possible!

Dr. Mariel Edhlund is a member of the Veterinary Cancer Society and the Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncologists and has gained extensive training and experience in treating cancer. Dr. Joseph Edhlund is a member of the Veterinary CT and MRI society and the Veterinary Ultrasound Society as well as the Veterinary Cancer Society. Dr. Mariel brings her passion for ultimate patient care to your pet. Her soft touch with people and pets is nothing short of amazing. What would be amazing is if she ever forgot a pet’s name! She cares! With her caring hands she constantly reassures your pet and makes them comfortable through the process. She will spend the time with you to make sure you understand the disease, the healing process and expectations.

Dr. Joseph Edhlund brings his talents in technology to provide superb medical imaging which is a crucial part of any cancer treatment program. You need to see what you are treating if you want to treat it successfully. Dr. Edhlund began his imaging and cancer therapy career over three decades ago in 1981 when he completed his first CT scan on his own dog Nicki. She had an aggressive form of fibrosarcoma. Through the use of surgical, chemo, radiation and thermal therapy working with cancer specialists from Florida to California, Nicki was able to enjoy several years of additional life. From this career long interest, Dr. Edhlund brought the world’s finest veterinary dedicated 64 slice CT into practice to help the pets in Hawaii. He also has brought in fluoroscopes, endoscopes, arthroscopes, ultrasound and other imaging technologies. In addition to his decades of experience utilizing advanced imaging technology, he is a member of the Veterinary CT/MRI Society and the Veterinary Ultrasound Society and the Veterinary Cancer Society as well as the International Society of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. With these technology assets, the Cancer Team at the Hawaii Cancer Center for Pets can understand what type of therapy will be most beneficial for your pet and monitor their progress.

In addition to the oncologists and imaging abilities in-house, we constantly network with oncologists worldwide. We are in daily communication and coordination with cancer specialists throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. We coordinate transfer of protocols and ideas on best therapy plans with Board certified Oncologists, Pathologists, Surgeons, Radiologists, Radiation Oncologists and Internal Medicine Specialists from England to California to Brisbane. Board certified specialists work within the Center and coordinate  with specialists everywhere. The evolving field of cancer therapy is so vast it is beyond the capability of any individual to know it all. Only by partnering with the best minds in many fields can we achieve optimal care – best quality and length of life. Even the outstanding Queen’s Hospital, largest in Hawaii realized this as they tied the knot with the #1 rated MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas.

The Hawaii Cancer Center for Pets has gone even further. Some of our consultants are from the University of Florida in Gainesville, the University of California at Davis, Cambridge England and more. By coordinating the best minds and abilities in the world we achieve optimal results for your pet Ohana right here at home in Hawaii.

Cancer therapy in pets is a small but rapidly evolving field of medical care. As we provide better care throughout our pet’s lives they live longer. People or pets tend to get more cancer as they get older. With older pets we will see more cancer. With proper cancer treatment we can often extend the length and improve the quality of lives of our pets.

In contrast to people where we are usually looking for cures, in pets we are usually targeting extended quality life. Therefore our cancer treatments are not typically as harsh as cancer treatment in people. In fact noticeable severe side effects are rare. As one client mentioned after her Boxer went through another round of chemotherapy: ” You are not giving him chemo, you must be giving him vitamins. He is so strong and feels so good I can’t control him.”

One of the most exciting new therapies for cancer are vaccines against cancer. These vaccines stimulate the patient’s own immune system to fight back the cancer. Oncept by Merial is the first of these vaccines to be licensed by the FDA and has been shown effective against melanosarcoma. A new lymphoma or LSA vaccine is also now available under conditional license by the FDA. These vaccines are on the vanguard of an exciting realm in cancer therapy with many other vaccines against cancer in the works. These vaccines are exciting not just for our dogs but for ourselves. Cancer medicine is a VERY exciting field!

Another significant aspect of cancer therapy is quality of life. Pain is obviously something we are acutely aware of although many animals hide it well. Many people have a feeling based on their experience with a human family member or friend that they do not want to put their pet through “that”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some cancers, in particular bone cancer can be very painful. People are usually very fearful of the recommended treatment – amputation of the affected limb. They think their pet will be a cripple. One of the wonderful thing about pets is their lack of self-image consciousness. As long as they are happy and pain free and with Mom or Dad, they are content. By removing that painful limb, and recovering under the effect of strong pain relievers for a week, they can go back to living a normal pain free life. And remember, we get along just fine on two legs. Pets do amazingly well with three and even do OK with just two.

Our goal is to extend the length and improve the quality of life of your pet. It may seem strange that someone would concentrate their professional life on something as depressing as the big C. However, our experience has shown that cancer therapy is one of the most rewarding aspects in all of veterinary medicine. The relationship between doctor, patient and client usually grows exceedingly strong and positive. As Dr. Ogilvie, one of the great gurus of cancer care recently stated, cancer is now the most treatable of chronic diseases. We need to take a new look at how we think about pet cancer. Pets do not live long enough to start with and if we can extend the quality and length of their life by even 6 months or a year the rewards are great. Our successes and rewards are frequently much longer. One of the good things about cancer and cancer therapy is that once your pet has been diagnosed with cancer it usually wakes up in you the importance of your pet to your life. You will appreciate every moment with your pet even more. And with state of the art therapy offered at the Hawaii Cancer Center for Pets those uplifting and heartwarming moments will be extended.


Advanced care services are services that go above and beyond what a general hospital visit may be for your pets. Advanced services may be... More

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To schedule your pet’s visit with our hospital, select Request an Appointment below. In the event of a pet medical crisis, no appointment is needed. Simply select Emergency below to view emergency information.

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