Cancer treatment in sports and companion animals
When a beloved pet or companion animal is diagnosed with cancer it is obviously extremely sad news. Some comfort, though, is that the disease in many cases can be successfully treated.
The sooner a cancer is diagnosed the greater the chance of cure. Consequently, early diagnosis is of utmost importance. In order to achieve this, Alertix’ immunoassay can be of great help. Most methods of treatment are the similar to those for humans, and as is the case in human healthcare they have been greatly improved in recent years.
Surgery is the most common and successful therapy. At early detection a surgical procedure can cure the patient. However, the outcome depends on whether the cancer has spread. If the cancer has metastasized it will recur even if the primary tumor is removed.
In case of various forms of blood cancer chemotherapy might be the best option. This also goes for metastatic cancer.
We have reason to believe that the side effects of chemotherapy are less severe in animals than in humans. If the animal should suffer severe side effects it is important to consider discontinuing the therapy to avoid unjustified suffering.
Radiation therapy can be used as sole treatment in some cancerous conditions. Sometimes radiotherapy is used as complementary therapy – e.g. to surgery.
Animals often tolerate radiation quite well, but as always in cancer treatment it is important to weigh benefits against the discomforts that the therapy might cause.
During all forms of therapy it is of importance to monitor the result continuously. If the treatment does not give the desired result there might be reason to alter the therapy – or discontinue. Sometimes there is no cure, in other cases treatment is not justified considering the amount of pain the animal will suffer. Sometimes the owners of the animal may want to continue treatment, even though putting an end to its suffering might be the best thing to do. Therefore, a tool to monitor treatment is of outmost importance in veterinary medicine, particularly since animals cannot communicate their pain directly as humans.
Alertix’ immunoassay is a powerful and cost-effective tool for monitoring and follow-up of cancer treatments. Testing before, during and after the treatment period can provide information whether the therapy is successful. The test, thus, provides a relevant basis for decisions on continuing or putting an end to therapy.
How often the test should be conducted depends on the type of cancer. The more aggressive the cancer is, the more need for frequent intervals of follow-up. The interval should be decided in consultation with the veterinarian.