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Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS  
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Specialties: surgery

Interests: Pet Owner Education
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Interview with a cancer specialist (part 2)

Sep 29, 2009 - 3 comments
Tags:

Dog

,

cat

,

PET

,

chemo

,

chemothe

,

Radiation therapy

,

radiotherapy

,

Cancer

,

nasal cancer

,

Bladder Cancer

,

Prostate Cancer

,

Oral Cancer



Here is another question I recently asked Dr Sara Fiocchi, a cancer specialist (aka oncologist) at the Veterinary Cancer Group in Tustin, CA.


When would you recommend radiation therapy for a dog or a cat?

"There are 2 different reasons we use radiation therapy.

One reason is to try to obtain long-term tumor control (i.e., to kill cancer cells).  This is called “definitive radiation therapy.”  Whether or not definitive radiation therapy will work depends on a number of factors, including the tumor type and how rapidly it is dividing.   With definitive radiation, there are usually varying degrees of side-effects, such as skin burns.

The other reason to use radiation therapy is to relieve pain or improve function, and therefore improve quality of life.  When used in this setting, it is called “palliative radiation therapy.”

Palliative radiation has been used most often in dogs with painful bone tumors.  Many oncologists have also used palliative radiation to improve comfort or function in pets with a variety of other tumors including nasal, bladder, prostate and oral tumors."


Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS
Pet surgeon and author of a free, weekly newsletter for true pet lovers, available at DrPhilZeltzman.com

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675347_tn?1365464245
by ginger899, Sep 29, 2009
Thanks for this post. I have recently been wondering about this, and which particular types of tumors would respond best to Radiation therapy (in animals) Also if it could be used for a tumor which had already metastasized to the nearest lymph node (but say, no further spread appeared to be evident)
Obviously it seems it would not be useful for cancer which had spread throughout the system, affecting other organs, I would think. But more helpful for a more localized cancer, or one caught in the early stages (bearing in mind it was a suitable tumor for radiation in the first place.)  

With definitive radiation therapy, also I was wondering about radiation burn, and what kind of skin treatment would be good for this, in animals.

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by Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVSBlank, Sep 30, 2009
Ginger,

Tumors commonly treated with radiation include masses in the mouth, the nose, the brain, the bone and the skin.

You're right, if there is spreading, radiation is not a good option.

Treatment for radiation-induced skin burns? It includes TIME, prevention of self-mutilation (including simple licking) and some ointments.

This should all be part of the discussion with the specialist providing radiation.

Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS
Pet surgeon and author of a free, weekly newsletter for true pet lovers, available at DrPhilZeltzman.com

675347_tn?1365464245
by ginger899, Oct 01, 2009
Thanks Dr Phil. Helpful information.

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