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Staging is the process of testing that evaluates your pet's cancer with regard to tumor size and spread (if the cancer has metastasized or involves other parts of the body). From the information obtained with these tests, a numeric description is given with higher numbers indicating more advanced disease (i.e. stage V is more advanced than stage I). Knowing the stage of your pet's cancer is critical in selecting the proper treatment as well as in establishing their prognosis. The numeric stage is based on initial testing. Therefore, it will not change during the course of your pets therapy. The grade of a cancer is different then it's stage. Grading requires a tumor biopsy and microscopic description. Staging on the other hand utilizes testing such as radiographs, blood analysis, bone marrow analysis and others based on the known behavior of the tumor and changes found in your pet. The information obtained though testing reveals critical information regarding the cancer behavior and also allows your veterinarian to assess your pets overall health. Depending on the needs of your pet, these tests may occasionally be repeated to determine if a response to treatment has occurred.
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Oncology

Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs and cats. Advances in our understanding of cancer biology have helped pets live longer, with an excellent, dignified quality of life. Our goal is to give you all the information you need to make the right decision for you and your pet. We may offer additional diagnostics such as aspirates, biopsies or staging to refine a treatment plan that may include chemotherapy, surgery or radiotherapy; all with the goal if improving your pet's quality of life. At Veterinary Specialty Center, you'll have the peace of mind knowing you will see the same board certified oncologist at every visit.

We perform advanced diagnostic procedures; including ultrasound and biopsy procedures; or interpret tests already performed by your veterinarian to identify the type, location, and behavior of a tumor. After collecting this information and consulting with your veterinarian, our cancer specialist will describe the behavior and stage of the cancer, as well as the likely outcomes and treatment options to the pet owner. These options are tailored to the animal's particular cancer, prognosis and lifestyle and will be consistent with the owner's goals for the pet. Cancer treatments that may be recommended can include medical treatments (vaccines, chemotherapy, anti-vascular drugs), surgery and/or radiotherapy.

Some types of cancer are very responsive to chemotherapy. The approach for using chemotherapy in dogs and cats is very different from that in humans; our lower doses of chemotherapy often result in quick improvement in quality of life during treatment, rather than the approach in human oncology of using much larger doses of chemotherapy resulting in severe side effects but higher cure rates. Many chemotherapy protocols can often be covered by pet insurance.

Why See An Oncologist?

When owners are faced with cancer in their pets, veterinarians will recommend or offer a consultation with a veterinary oncologist. An Assessment of the pet's history and physical examination is then done by an oncologist and will sometimes recommend a staging and treatment regimen. This regimen can be performed locally with their own veterinarian or at a specialist center depending on the pet’s treatment plan.

Our Oncology Services

Bone Marrow Aspirate
Cancer Staging
Chemotherapy
Immunotherapy

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