Diseases, procedures and treatments
The Melbourne Veterinary Specialist Centre oncology therapies range from oral medicines to injected chemotherapy. The type of treatment is decided upon depending on the type of cancer present and the wishes of the pet owner. Diagnostic procedures include fine needle biopsy, bone marrow testing, radiography, ultrasonography, MRI, and laboratory testing.
Chemotherapy is an important component of cancer management with many tumours showing benefit from its use. It is not only beneficial in lymphoma, where it has been most widely used, but a wide range of tumours including sarcomas, carcinoma, mast cell tumours and other round cell tumours. Many of these tumours can have significantly better outcomes with chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy is not a matter of following a recipe. Each case needs to be individually assessed and the treatments tailored depending on the response and tolerance. With Dr Peter Bennett's experience and knowledge, more aggressive treatments are possible without significantly increasing the risk of toxicities.
As well as assessing the patients for their cancer and its effects, all patients are assessed for concurrent health conditions that might affect the treatment by the appropriate member of the team. In some cases these additional problems require treatment to improve the patient's tolerance to the cancer therapy. This assessment can make the difference in obtaining a successful treatment of a patient’s cancer.
The introduction of a safe ‘closed circuit’ administration system called ‘Phaseal’ [used in human hospitals] means that chemotherapy drugs can be made on our premises at reduced cost to clients and with increased safety to our oncology patients and staff.
In conjunction with our Surgery Department, we can also place subcutaneous venous access ports that allow safe delivery of long-term chemotherapy. They are particularly useful in fractious animals and animals with poor venous access and are commonly used for administering chemotherapy to young children.
Administration of chemotherapy:
Set up for chemotherapy
Inserting the intravenous catheter
Taping the catheter securely into place
Connecting the Phaseal closed injection system
Flushing the port
Administering the drug