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Oncology

NEVCCC is proud to offer caring and comprehensive oncology consultation and cancer treatment. We offer radiation therapy, medical oncology and oncologic surgery on site for those pets with cancer. We have a team approach to cancer care and clients benefit from the expertise of our medical oncologist, surgeon, and consulting radiation oncologist. Dr. Debi O’Keefe, our board-certified medical oncologist, is usually the doctor that will see your pet. She will evaluate the information provided by your primary care veterinarian, do a complete physical exam and discuss other recommended diagnostic tests. These tests might include percutaneous tumor biopsy, radiographs, ultrasonography, or CT scan, all of which can be done on site. Dr. O’Keefe will discuss prognosis, treatment options, and potential side effects and will help you decide on the treatment plan that is best for you and your pet. She consults with the surgeon and radiation oncologist as needed, and helps coordinate your pet’s care. If chemotherapy or radiation therapy is part of the treatment plan, Dr. O’Keefe  will oversee those treatments.

 

Surgery and radiation therapy are localized treatments, meaning that they are used to treat tumors that are localized to one area of the body. Medical oncology uses chemotherapy or other medications to treat cancers that can or have spread to other organs.

 

Surgical Oncology

Dr. Joel Alsup, our board-certified surgeon, brings over 20 years of surgical experience to the oncology program. Limb-sparing procedures, soft tissue mass removal, lung tumor excision, limb amputation and abdominal mass (liver, pancreas, intestinal, etc.) removal are among the surgeries offered. He has treated many pets with cancer in a caring, compassionate manner.

 

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is a beam of x-rays or electrons that is used to treat certain types of localized tumors. It is often used for tumors that are in locations where surgery is not possible (i.e. nasal cavity, brain) or in cases where surgery could not remove the entire tumor (i.e. oral cavity, extremities). At NEVCCC, we have a state-of-the art Varian linear accelerator which allows us to deliver the precise radiation dose that is needed for each case. Our multileaf collimator and 3D radiation treatment planning system allows the radiation oncologist to precisely target the tumor while providing enhanced shielding of the surrounding normal tissues.

 

Medical Oncology

Chemotherapy is the mainstay of medical oncology. We use many of the same chemotherapy drugs that are used to treat cancer in people. Fortunately, chemotherapy has far fewer side effects in dogs and cats than it does in people. Other medical treatments include cancer vaccines (melanoma, lymphoma) and metronomic therapy. This is the use of low dose oral chemotherapy drugs that slow cancer growth by inhibiting blood vessel formation and possibly by stimulating the immune system.