It can be devastating to learn that your cat has cancer. However, treatments are available that will substantially enhance the quality of life for your cat. While such a diagnosis is never considered good news, the disease can be managed. Many cat cancer treatment options are available, and sometimes it can be difficult to sift through them all. Therefore, you need to explore the treatment options that are available before making a decision for care.
- Cancer Treatments: The choice of whether to treat or not to treat a pet depends on numerous factors. Some forms of cancer therapy can only be carried out at a specialized veterinary hospital. Thus, your vet may recommend one of these more advanced facilities for treating your pet.
- Pet Insurance Can Help: While the treatment cost varies, the affordability depends on a pet owner’s financial circumstances. Generally, if you want to make sure you can afford cancer care, you should take out pet insurance to offset the costs of treatment later on. While some pet owners sock away money in savings, generally, taking out a policy is a better solution.
- Staging Your Pet: Before any treatment on a cat can begin, the vet will “stage” your cat. In other words, the doctor sees how far along a cat’s cancer or tumor has spread, and if any complications have developed. Staging a tumor frequently entails taking x-rays or performing an ultrasound. It often includes getting samples in the form of biopsies or aspirates from the cat’s lymph nodes. It also involves checking your pet’s blood.
- Staying Focused on Your Cat’s Care: When treating cancer, it is important that all the parties involved have the same objectives in mind. Surgeons in an animal hospital try to provide a better quality of life for the patient without producing unacceptable side-effects. If the cat is suffering, sometimes the only thing that can be done is to administer euthanasia. However, given today’s technologies, vets try to avoid this measure if at all possible.
- Treatment Costs and Choices: When you look at care costs, they normally include expenses for surgery, chemotherapy (drugs), and/or radiation therapy. The type of treatment that is given depends on such factors as:
- The type of cancer.
- The site of the cancer.
- The presence of metastases, or the distant spread of a tumor.
- What treatment is appropriate for your cat.
- What treatments are available.
- Surgery is a Common Expense: With that being said, surgery is the most common type of cancer therapy, and the treatment normally results in a cure. However, the complete removal of a tumor is not always possible. This is one reason why an early diagnosis as well as early treatments can improve an animal’s long-term prognosis. Surgery may involve complete removal of a tumor, or may be used to improve the outcome of other treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation.
As you can see, quality cancer care frequently involves intense treatments and surgical interventions. Therefore, most pet owners don’t consider it to be affordable. If you want to offset the costs of this kind of treatment, it is always helpful to be prepared. If you can do so, take out a pet insurance policy so you won’t experience the stress and financial worries that result when a pet owner does not include this kind of financial back-up.