Page of Oncology in English with information for professionals and pet owners

What do we mean when we talk about cancer?

Cancer is a generic denomination for a group of more than 100 illnesses that can affect any part of the body and they are characterized for the fast growth of abnormal cells, usually beyond the normal parameters. They could affect, in time, other organs and, eventually, cause death.
Although the genetic information is the main responsible for the development of cancer, many other factors play also a fundamental role .

Cancer, in opposite to politics and religion, is not a topic of controversy.

It is neither a synonym of death nor a simple illness for which there is a common treatment

Once cancer has appeared,  there are many ways in which it can develop, hence each one may respond differently to treatments.

Money S.


Like it or not, the prevalence of animals with cancer has been increasing. The prevalence simply indicates an increment in the cancer diagnosed cases per year, without an increase in the risk population (incidence).

In veterinary medicine, prevalence has increased for several reasons:

. The great quality of life observed nowadays in pet animals
(e.g. dogs and cats). This is due to better nutrition, periodic vaccinations (preventing the appearance of fatal infectious illnesses).

· Closer relations with animals.

· Increased investigation and development of new medicines aimed to cure canines and felines.

Considering this increase in prevalence of cancer and more  concern over pet health from owners, compared with 20-30 years ago , veterinary professionals are called more often for  diagnose and management of animals suffering from cancer.

In the last years, improvements achieved in human cancer treatments have received great attention from mass media, such as newspapers, magazines, news programmes, web pages, etc. Nevertheless, some of these therapies cannot be carried out in pet animals because they have side effects or they may be very expensive. Therefore, the therapy should be chosen carefully, with proper advice from the oncology specialist. Otherwise, there is a big chance that treatment will not have any effect, or even worse,  it could have undesired effects in animal´s body.

Often, some veterinary professionals are reluctant to treat a patient with cancer. This attitude does not only go in detriment of the animal, but also reinforces fear in owners towards treatment of oncological illnesses in human beings.

At present, cancer is considered a chronic illness, like many others (liver, renal, cardiac alterations, etc.); and therefore they should be treated adequately and by a suitable oncology professional.

Although final cure may not be achieved (like the chronic illnesses previously mentioned), a better quality of life and a longer survival is possible. But for these to happen, it is necessary to take action as soon as possible.

People that seek therapies for their animals are generally a minority within the pet owners population.

Considering the increase in information provided to the population, the greater concern around this illness, the dedication of veterinarians that have started to analyze the patient from other perspectives and  the development of new oncological medicines for animals (dogs and cats specially), surely in the next years number of animals in treatment protocols will rise.



 Oncoveterinaria recommend Couto Veterinary Consultants (CVC), for english oncology consults