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I Can’t Afford Treatment

Apr 19, 2011

We hear this a lot, especially over the last 3 years during the economic downturn. While it is true that treating your dog or cat with cancer can be very costly, it does not have to be. While the traditional therapies of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy remain the standards and they are usually (but not always) the most effective therapy for a particular type of cancer they are not the only options any more. Over the past few years the number of options to treat cancer in pets have mushroomed. There are more protocols and types of therapy now than there ever was.

We now utilize anti-angiogenic therapy and metronomic therapy. These two types of treatment typically utilize oral medications. They are also less costly than many other protocols--and in some cases equally as effective.

A great example is "Penny" a 14 year old mix breed who was diagnosed with a low grade sarcoma 2 years ago. The owners opted for anti-angiogenic therapy as they could not afford traditional radiation therapy or chemotherapy. It has been 2 years and "Penny" is still doing well and her owners are thrilled that they were able to do something for their pet.

At our practice in Norwalk, we also participate in many clinical trials. One of the advantages of clinical trials is that they are either partially or fully funded. This means direct and in some cases, substantial savings to the pet owner. This is just one of the advantages of clinical trials--I will discuss the other advantages in a later post.

So, the next time you think "I can't afford to treat my pet with cancer," you may need to think again.