What is Cancer?
Cancer is a message from our body that there is a breakdown in our metabolism which allows cancer to occur. This is an opportunity for us to explore ways to make pets healthy again.
A healthy body is a combination of metabolic health, energy, genetic and epigenetic information. When one or several of those processes are damaged, disease and ultimately cancer can occur. Our philosophy is to identify and address the breakdown of these pathways. This allows us to truly integrate the standard of care with other treatment modalities and lifestyle adjustments for better outcomes for our patients.
At Veterinary Healthcare Associates in Winter Haven, FL our oncology department practices integrative and metabolic oncology.
By working with those metabolic pathways and understanding the holistic nature of those processes. Integrative oncology focuses on those metabolic pathways in health as well as conventional genetic based therapy.
Diagnosing Cancer in Pets
The first step in treating cancer is to diagnose the type of cancer, and determine whether or not there is metastasis (spread) using these tools:
With the tissue assay, we submit the entire tumor or cells from the tumor to a clinical pathologist for review. The review from this report is used to determine the type of cancer. Assessing the shape and characteristics of the cells under a microscope can also help us determine the type of cancer and give us insight about the cancer’s aggressiveness.
Radiographs, ultrasound, CT, and/or MRI can all play a role in determining the degree of a tumor’s invasiveness for surgical planning. These images can also determine if metastasis (spread) is present. Imaging is a critical tool in determining the progression of cancer and forecasting a prognosis.
Blood work provides essential information about the body’s overall condition from a metabolic standpoint. These tests can help measure inflammation and evaluate the state of the internal organs, so we can assess which therapies are appropriate and/or contraindicated. Cancer often exists in conjunction with other disease processes (kidney disease, liver disease, anemia), and identifying these comorbidities can help us formulate a holistic treatment plan.
The liquid biopsy test involves testing a blood sample to identify the cancer type, and it is currently under development.
Oncology Standard of Care
The oncology standard of care for pets generally includes these treatments:
Below are the integrative therapies our hospital offers in conjunction with metabolic therapies and standard of care for our cancer patients.
Emotional Health Plays a Role in Cancer Treatment, Too
The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial, dynamic relationship between people and animals influenced by behaviors essential to the health and well-being of both. This includes emotional, psychological, and physical interactions with people, other animals, and the environment. Our dog and cat family members often absorb our emotional energy, and bringing awareness to this dynamic can foster a healthier exchange of well-being.
Here are some ways to improve your pet’s emotional health.
What to Expect Next
Did your pet recently receive a cancer diagnosis? Are you looking to pursue treatment? Ask your primary veterinarian for a referral to VHA. Once they submit the referral to us, our team will gather your pet’s medical records and any additional information they need. Then, we will call you to set up an appointment.
If your pet is not seeing a veterinarian at the moment, you can call us at (863) 324-3340 and we’ll help you get established as a patient. Let us know in advance if you have pet insurance. Our hospital accepts CareCredit and Trupanion.