Many forms of cancer are treated with chemotherapy. The goal is always to extend a pet’s good quality of life for as long as possible – 80% of all cancer is cured surgically by removing the tumor. When we are not able to cure with surgery, we may reach for chemotherapy.
The word chemotherapy conjures images of people losing their hair and suffering chronic nausea. Chemotherapy simply means therapy using medication (as opposed to surgery or radiation).
Only 7% of patients require hospitalization due to side effects of chemotherapy. While whiskers are commonly lost, substantial hair loss is not experienced by most dogs or cats on chemotherapy for cancer. Nausea and infection are possibilities but are easily medicated.
A cure is considered the permanent removal of all traces of tumor such that no further treatment is needed. While this may be a possibility for your pet, it is more constructive and realistic to focus on increasing a quality lifetime.