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Samantha Bajorek

DVM
Dr. Bajorek
Oncology Resident
Oncology
Dr. Bajorek
Dr. Samantha Bajorek grew up in Northern California just outside of Sacramento, in a small town called El Dorado Hills. She obtained her bachelor's degree at the University of California, Irvine and then received her doctorate of veterinary medicine at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She went on to complete a small animal medicine and surgery rotating internship at VCA Sacramento Veterinary Referral Center, followed by an oncology specialty internship at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Diego. She is very excited to be joining the team at VCA West LA for her oncology residency.
 
Dr. Bajorek lives in Sherman Oaks with her husband Daniel, their goofball hound mix, Finn, and their three cats (Dash, Dean and Walter). Their favorite thing to do in their free time is to scope out new hiking trails to explore with Finn.

Oncology

What Is A Veterinary Oncologist?

A board certified veterinary oncologist is a veterinary specialist who has obtained advanced training in veterinary oncology, passed board certification examination in either medical or radiation therapy and has earned the right to be called a recognized specialist by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Both have specialized knowledge in the diagnosis of cancer, staging and treatment of cancer, however the focus of a radiation oncologist is in the use of radiation therapy, whereas the emphasis of the medical oncologist is in the use of chemotherapy and other non-radiation cancer treatment modalities. 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 diagnostic and treatment plans that may include one or all of the following options:

  • Surgery
  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Vaccine or Immunotherapy
  • Bone Marrow Transplant

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 and can assist you in the decision making process, treatment and long term care of your pet.

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 that is caring and committed to ensuring that your pet receives the highest standard of 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 internists/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, you will either want to have your general practice veterinarian work in consultation with a veterinary oncologist, or refer you to one for your pet's treatment.

Common Cancers

Blood Cell Tumors

  • Lymphosarcoma (LSA)
  • Leukemia (ALL, CLL, AML, CML)
  • Multiple Myeloma

Endocrine Tumors

  • Thyroid Carinoma
  • Insulinoma

Gastrointestinal Tumors

Hemangiosarcoma

Mammary Tumors

Skeletal Tumors

  • Osterosarcoma (OSA)
  • Chondrosarcoma (CSA)
  • Synovial Cell Sarcoma

Skin Tumors

  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
  • Mast Cell Tumor (MCT)
  • Basal Cell Carcinoma
  • Plasma Cell Tumor (PCT)

Soft Tissue Tumors/Sarcomas (STS)

  • Nerve Sheath Tumor (NST)
  • Fibrosarcoma (FSA)
  • Hemangiopericytoma (HPC)

Urogenital Tumors

  • Prostate Carcinoma
  • Bladder Transitional Cell Carcinoma (TCC)

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.

Our Oncology Team

VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital

1900 S. Sepulveda Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90025

Main: 310-473-2951

Fax: 310-979-5400

Hospital Hours:

    Mon-Sun: Open 24 hours

Other Hospital Hours:

Open for emergencies 24/7. No appointment is needed.
For Specialty Services, please call for availability and to schedule your pet's appointment.

Are you a Primary Care Veterinarian? We have dedicated resources for you.

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