PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Cancer is the leading cause of death for dogs over 6 years old. This week, 35 VCA animal hospitals launched new cancer centers across the county.
VCA Pet Cancer Care Alliance is what they’re calling this initiative to bring state-of-the-art cancer treatment technologies into the realm of cat and dog care.
“We just wanna make sure that people understand there are treatments available and that there are options other than saying oh my pet has cancer there is nothing I can do,” said VCA Pet Oncologist Katie McDonald.
McDonald said 40% of pet owners think their pets will eventually get cancer, but half of those people are unaware of any cancer treatments they can bring to bear on their pets.
New treatments are now available for pets — even though the science of chemotherapy has remained relatively stable.
“But we do have some great advances coming in radiation therapy,” she said. “Immunotherapy, targeted therapy, a lot of those things that give us a lot of opportunities that we didn’t have even five or ten years ago.”
The big new building that’ll house the new radiation therapy unit will house a human-grade technology machine with the potential to extend the life of pets — the first of its kind in the state of Oregon that’ll help pet family members when they need it the most.