Companion Animals and Cancer

Lili Duda, VMD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

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Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
Do you have any statistics as to how many companion animals are diagnosed with cancer in their life time? What treatments are used? And, what is average cost of treatment?  
Thank you.

Lili Duda, VMD, Editor of the OncoLink Veterinary Oncology Section Menu, responds:

Approximately 25% of companion animals will develop cancer in their lifetime, usually as older pets. This is because they are living longer due to control of things like infectious disease and improvements in nutrition.

All modalities are used in veterinary medicine: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

There is no "average cost" of treatment; it varies widely depending on tumor type, extent of tumor, aggressive of treatment, and owner and veterinary constraints, etc. Costs can range into the thousands quite easily with multi-modality therapy.

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