Since the 1960s, veterinarians have utilized radiation therapy to treat various forms of cancer in pets. As therapies evolve and change, Stereotactic Radiation Therapy (SRS) is a relatively new procedure that directly delivers radiation to the tumor. SRS is unique because it administers high doses of radiation without negatively impacting nearby tissue and organs.
SRS has proven effective when treating cancer in humans and is now taking veterinary medicine by storm. Originally used to treat brain tumors, veterinarians have deemed it one of the most effective, targeted radiation treatments for overall bodily use.
How Is Stereotactic Radiotherapy Performed?
When compared to other cancer treatments, SRS can be performed in one to three sessions, versus traditional radiation therapy which can take 13 to 15 separate sessions. Before the veterinarian performs the treatment, they will need to locate and determine the size of the tumor. Unfortunately, SRS is typically not used for blood or bone cancers, because they are difficult to target. A CT scan is usually ordered a few days prior to the treatment day.
After the details of the growth are assessed, it is targeted rapidly and at a higher dose than typical radiation therapy. Depending on the size and location of the mass, SRS sessions can take between 15 to 30 minutes. The goal of the SRS treatment sessions is to eliminate the entity, slow its overall growth, and prevent future developments of malignant cells. Since SRS is non-surgical, beams of radiation are utilized to treat the cancerous tumor. Your dog will be immobilized so they can target the mass effectively and precisely.
Is Every Pet With Cancer a Candidate for SRT?
Like all cancer therapies, candidates are determined based on the size and location of the tumor. SRT is typically not recommended for pets with blood or bone cancers. This new therapy is most appropriate for pets who have targetable masses.
PetCure Oncology specializes in innovative cancer therapies that are used to treat cancer in humans. They understand that pets are family, so they recruit only the best radiologists and oncologists in the field.
If you are interested in determining if your pet is a good candidate for SRT, schedule a consultation with a radiation oncologist at PetCure Oncology. At PetCure Oncology’s facilities, they utilize some of the most advanced veterinary technology in the industry.
What Are the Benefits and Disadvantages of Stereotactic Radiotherapy?
When it comes to developing new cancer therapies, researchers and doctors build upon old treatments to improve the overall experience and reduce side effects. Some of the benefits of stereotactic radiotherapy include:
- Complete treatment in one to three sessions compared to traditional radiation therapies, which can take up to 15 sessions.
- Exact and targeted therapy that destroys specific tumors leaving the healthy surrounding tissue intact.
- Compared to traditional therapy, stereotactic radiation has little to no side effects.
- Tumors located near sensitive areas in the body like the spine or brain can be easily treated.
- Each session only takes 15 to 30 minutes at the most.
- No overnight hospital stays are required, which means your furry friend can return home to heal in the comfort of your own home.
Overall, stereotactic radiotherapy is less invasive and traumatic to the pet. Being able to preserve healthy tissue and go home after treatment are some of the most noticeable improvements in radiotherapy for pets.
Does Prudent Pet Insurance Cover Stereotactic Radiotherapy?
At Prudent Pet, we aim to cover as many alternative therapies as possible. The answer is: Yes, stereotactic radiotherapy is covered as long as the owner enrolls in pet insurance prior to the dog or cat becoming ill. Even if your pet is prone to cancer but does not have the condition yet, Prudent Pet will never deny coverage. Unlike other types of pet insurance, Prudent Pet works with vets to ensure your pet is getting the coverage they need, even if it is a relatively new treatment option.
Prudent Pet was created by pet parents for pet parents, so we know you want the best for your furry friend. We are committed to helping you save money on vet bills and get coverage that fits your budget. If you’re interested in checking out our covered therapies, policy options, or getting a FREE quote, give us a call at 888-820-7739.