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Cancer

Image of an elderly man sitting on a bench with a cat, dog, and a second dog laying by his feet.

Cancer, by definition, is the uncontrolled growth of cells. Any type of cells in the body can become cancerous. Once these cells grow out of control, they take over areas previously occupied by normal cells; sometimes these tumor cells break off and travel to other areas of the body. Wherever these cells lodge they can start new tumors. This process continues until there is not enough normal tissue remaining to sustain normal bodily functions. There are a number of factors that influence how fast a cancer may grow or spread: type of cancer cell, location, genetics, as well as any concurrent illness or debilitating condition the patient may have.

While there are many research studies devoted to determining the causes of cancer, a lot about this disease is still unknown. It is evident that factors like genetics; exposure to harmful substances, injury, and advanced age can predispose certain patients to this disease.

Regular physical examinations and thorough medical history review are often key components to detecting cancer. Samples of any abnormal tissue should be evaluated by a pathologist to determine the type of tumor and degree of aggressiveness of the disease. A pathologist's report, along with other imaging such as X-rays, ultrasound, and lab work help establish the patient's health status and determine the optimal treatment plan.

There are many different type of cancer treatment: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or any combination of these treatments. The important thing is to destroy the abnormal cells without damaging the normal cells. Veterinary oncologists, veterinarians that specialize in the study and treatment of cancer, can be consulted to help determine what treatment would be best for the patient.

Cancer is not always a terminal disease. Early detection and appropriate treatments are important in achieving the best outcome. New advancements in diagnostics and more effective treatments are being discovered all the time.

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Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Sammers is an 11 year old, Black, Domestic Short Hair Cat. His owner noticed that Sammers was pacing, walking around in circles at home and crying out in pain.

    "I would like to thank all of the staff who helped with Sammer's UTI. He was miserable, and you guys made him better. I cannot thank you enough for helping him. It is great to have a place to go when all the other vet clinics are closed.""
    Roxanne & "Sammers"- June 2012
  • "Kahlua is a very special service dog. He was brought in by his owner when she noticed that Kahlua was acting very painful and didn't want to jump. After a thorough exam Kahlua went home with some pain meds. Kahlua's mom stopped by our Facebook page to send us a note on his progress.

    "Just wanted to thank Dr. Cavanaugh, straight from the heart for seeing our Kahlua and putting our worries to rest. It was hilarious trying to get him to take his Tramadol.... cheese would not work but the Chunky Skippy did the trick. WE THINK YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!!!!! So thank you, straight from the heart.""
    Michelle & "Kahula" - July 2012