Animal oncology involves the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in small animals and can include many of the therapy options also offered to humans, such as chemotherapy and radiation, radioactive iodine therapy, and surgery. Like humans, animals can be afflicted with many different types of cancer:
- Nasosinal Tumor: Only a small percentage of cancerous growths in dogs develop in the nasal cavity and sinus. Radiation therapy constitutes one of the few courses of action for this generally inoperable and difficult to treat type of cancer. Recently, other treatments have shown promise, including helical tomotherapy and cisplastin chemotherapy.
- Soft-tissue Sarcoma: These malignant lumps develop in the fat, cartilage, fibrous connective tissue, and nerves and have a tendency to return following surgical removal. Despite this, surgery is the most common treatment for such tumors, with radiation and chemotherapy recommended to prevent recurrence. If the tumor can be removed completely and is deemed “low to intermediate” grade, survival and recovery rates are very high.
- Injection-site Sarcoma: Often found in cats, these tumors develop within the connective tissues, generally between the shoulder blades, at the hips, or in the hind legs. Due to their close proximity to the site of past injections, the tumors are believed to be an unfortunate result of vaccination, though their development is rare. Though the growths are notoriously hard to treat, like soft-tissue sarcomas, they are generally addressed with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.