Symposium on oncology

Symposium on oncology

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Jun 01, 2006

Veterinary oncology is a field that has evolved at a tremendous pace over the last few decades. Since pet owners often consider cats and dogs as family members, they seek the best possible care for their beloved companions. Cancer remains one of the most common serious ailments of aging pets. However, better diagnostic capabilities and improved therapeutic options now often translate into enhanced quality of life and longer survival. In fact, as is observed in many human oncology patients receiving targeted therapy, we can hope that cancer will eventually be considered a chronic disease that pets can live with while still enjoying a normal quality of life.

Our goal with this symposium is to provide a thorough and up-to-date review on three types of cancer seen with varying frequencies in dogs and cats. First, we discuss feline mammary neoplasia, with an emphasis on initial diagnosis and recommended treatment for the best possible outcome. The saying that "cats are not small dogs" is especially appropriate when applied to the biologic behavior and optimal management of mammary gland tumors.

Next, we cover canine urinary bladder tumors, focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of transitional cell carcinoma—by far the most common histologic type observed in that location. Although transitional cell carcinoma may be somewhat more difficult to definitively diagnose than other tumors (owing to the primary location), we discuss various treatment options that improve both quality of life and survival times in many dogs harboring this tumor.

Finally, in the third article we review the current understanding of canine and feline hepatic tumors. We outline the differences between the two species and provide up-to-date information on the various diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for these occasionally overlooked tumors.

—Dr. Louis-Philippe de Lorimier