Cancer, by definition, is the uncontrolled growth of cells. Any type of cells in the body can become cancerous and 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 starting new tumors wherever they lodge. The process continues until there is not enough normal tissue remaining to sustain normal bodily functions. There are numerous 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. 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 and treating it early. Samples of any abnormal tissue should be evaluated by a pathologist to determine the type of tumor and degree of aggressiveness of the disease. Your pathologist will determine the right course of treatment for your pet based on their findings.There are many different types of cancer treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or any combination of these therapies. 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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Companion Animal Hospital • 2301 Mission Street, Santa Cruz, CA • (831) 425-1970