Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to directly kill tumor cells.
Indications for the use of chemotherapy include:
- In patients with measurable tumor with known sensitivity to chemotherapy,
such as lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and leukemias.
- As palliation of patients with unresectable and/or metastatic cancer.
- As adjuvant treatment in patients with the goal of eradicating occult micrometastatic disease such as in hemangiosarcoma and osteosarcoma.
- To sensitize tissues to the effects of radiation.
Chemotherapy may be administered intravenously, intramuscularly, intracavitary, or orally depending on the drug. Cancer is not a single diagnosis for which there is one treatment.
Whether chemotherapy is recommended as a primary therapy or as an adjunct to other cancer therapies, as well as the type of chemotherapy administered, is dictated by the type of cancer a patient has.
The goal of veterinary oncologists when treating patients with chemotherapy is to maintain remission of the cancer and prolong survival with a good quality of life.
Chemotherapy in veterinary patients is generally well tolerated. Most patients experience minimal to no side effects with treatment and lead normal active lives.
Back to Western Medicine