CANCER CARE

Complete Cancer Care by Southpaws brings together all of our capabilities to address cancer in cats and dogs. By combining advanced Chemotherapy, Radiation Therapy and Surgical Oncology – we deliver some of the most advanced cancer treatments available in Australia. We offer all these services in one location, greatly streamlining case management and ensuring continuity of care.

Complete Cancer Care by Southpaws is centered on world class oncology case management which takes into account diagnosis of cancer type and classification of the cancer stage through physical examination and a variety of imaging techniques (CT, Xray, Ultrasound). A prognosis is developed and a management goal is formulated – either curative or palliative treatment approaches are proposed. Surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, pain relief and hormonal therapy are then considered.

CHEMOTHERAPY

DIAGNOSIS & IMAGING

SURGICAL ONCOLOGY

RADIOTHERAPY

CHEMOTHERAPY

Chemotherapy is effective in improving survival for many tumours for which surgery or radiation therapy are not appropriate. For dogs and cats these include lymphoma, haemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma, mast cell tumours, multiple myeloma and some cases of melanoma and transitional cell carcinoma. Chemotherapy can be used either as an integrated treatment with surgery and radiation therapy, or as a standalone treatment, depending on anticipated outcomes. Modern chemotherapy alone provides increasingly improved outcomes in both dogs and cats.

Options include:

  • conventional high dose agents and protocols
  • new molecularly targeted agents such as Palladia a tyrosine kinase inhibitor
  • metronomic (continuous low dose)
  • primary, adjuvant, neoadjuvant or palliative administration
  • combination or sequential treatment protocols

Southpaws’ in-house laboratory haematology capabilities are used to monitor patients under treatment. Our Idexx LaserCyte® haematology unit provides full, five part differential results within minutes. This provides accurate results critical to safe administration of chemotherapy and significantly shortens hospitalisation times and treatment sessions for your pet. We do on-site biochemical screening and collection and interpretation of cytology samples while patient histology samples and complex blood tests, are submitted to an external laboratory for interpretation by an expert pathologist. In the unlikely event of a chemotherapy complication, our technology allows close monitoring of patients during recovery.

DIAGNOSIS & IMAGING

Complete Cancer Care at Southpaws is founded on the most up to date diagnostic and imaging technology. Most of our imaging capabilities are the kind you would find in a human hospital. Our capabilities include :

  • ultrasound

  • endoscopy

  • bronchoscopy

  • digital radiography (Xrays)

  • cystoscopy

  • computed tomography (CT)

  • mobile 40Hz, 2.2 kW Xray fluoroscopy

  • image guided diagnostic sample collection (guided by ultrasound or fluoroscopy)

  • access to MRI (off-site)

  • 3D modeling of surgical sites

SURGICAL ONCOLOGY

Surgery is the most effective method for treatment of cancer in animals and humans. The success of cancer surgery is highly dependent on the skills and experience of our specialist surgeons – we have personally operated on more than 20,000 veterinary patients with cancer. Click here for more details on our expert staff. The key to success with surgical oncology is to minimise the chances of local recurrence. Our team achieve complete surgical margins in over 95% of tumours and we will discuss the statistical likelihood of recurrence during your free surgical consultation. In the unlikely event that complete surgical excision is not possible, radiation therapy is very effective for preventing tumour recurrence. Our surgeons have published widely on soft tissue sarcomas in dogs and in cats and our work has been key references for others studying veterinary cancer treatment.

RADIOTHERAPY

Southpaws has the first deep-therapy radiation unit for animals in Australia and one of the few in operation today. Our RT equipment delivers a concentrated radiation beam of up to 300,000 volts. This allows deep penetration of the beam to treat a wide range of tumours in all parts of the body. Many tumours not appropriate for either surgery or chemotherapy can be treated either curatively or palliatively to improve quality of life. RT is a perfect partner to both surgery and chemotherapeutic treatment of many tumours and can be used in concert with these techniques to meaningfully improve case outcomes. Curative treatments typically take between 2 – 3 weeks with daily treatments. A number of small doses are delivered to minimise side effects while maximising the destruction of cancerous cells, which recover more slowly from the radiation dose. During this time pets visit Southpaws daily to receive treatment and undergo light anaesthesia. Pets can be picked up each day or boarded for clients coming long distances. Palliative treatments are delivered over fewer treatment sessions and are very effective at improving quality of life by reducing growth or size of the primary tumour site.

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