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The Angell Oncology Experience

The Oncology team at Angell Animal Medical Center offers a comprehensive and individualized approach to cancer management, specifically tailored to your pet’s needs. Our role as the Oncology team is to provide you with treatment options for the management of your pet’s cancer and to implement a plan that is right for you. We are committed to improving your companion’s quality of life and strive to do so in a caring and compassionate atmosphere.

Appointments:

Please note that it is very important to arrive on time to your appointment. To ensure this, we recommend planning to arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. If you are more than 15 minutes late for your scheduled appointment we may need to reschedule to prevent other patients from being delayed.

Your initial appointment

Your pet’s first appointment will be a 60-minute consultation. Please ensure you bring your pet with you to the appointment. You will meet with multiple members of the oncology team including nurses, oncologists, visiting students, interns, and residents. During your first appointment we will discuss the cancer diagnosis, additional testing needed, treatment options, and prognosis. If additional testing is needed, your pet may stay the day to have such tests performed or, if you prefer, we can schedule a visit on another day for the additional testing. In some cases it may be possible to start chemotherapy during your first consultation or we may start therapy at your next appointment. You will receive discharge instructions via email within 24 hours of your appointment which will outline everything you discussed with your oncologist during your appointment.

We recommend that you withhold all food on the day of your first appointment, water, however, is OK. This is in preparation for additional testing (abdominal ultrasound or other) or treatments (that may require sedation) that may be performed the same day.

Chemotherapy appointments

Chemotherapy appointments typically are 30 minutes; however there are times when your pet may need longer infusions that would instead require a 60-minute appointment or admission to the hospital for the day. When scheduling, we will be sure to let you know what the length of your appointment will be. Patients are not typically sent home with discharge instructions following chemotherapy appointments.

Radiation therapy appointments

If your pet is having radiation therapy there are multiple appointment types for which you may be scheduled. Your first appointment will be a 60-minute consultation from which you will be sent home with discharge instructions which will outline everything you discussed with your oncologist during your appointment. Your pet may need additional testing such as a CT scan, or we possibly can schedule this for the same day as your consultation. If your pet will be staying for a CT scan, please do not feed your pet after midnight prior to the appointment as they will be under general anesthesia. You will also be sent home with a packet of information with further details regarding radiation therapy, team members, scheduling and frequently asked questions.

The radiation oncologist may be with patients undergoing treatment, procedures or appointments and may not be readily available to speak with you. If you have any questions, we can certainly facilitate a meeting or phone call. You will be sent home with weekly discharge instructions and will meet the radiation oncologist again at the 2 week recheck following completion of radiation therapy. These post radiation recheck appointments 2 weeks after radiation therapy are 30-minute appointments during which we will assess for any radiation side effects and ensure your pet is on appropriate medications.

Recheck appointments

Recheck appointments are typically 30 minutes. Patients are not usually sent home with discharge instructions following recheck appointments. Our service is comprised of both medical and radiation oncology. Should your pet require treatment including radiation and chemotherapy, you will work with the oncologist pertinent to your pet’s current treatment (i.e. radiation oncologist during radiation and medical oncologist during chemotherapy). The cost of radiation therapy is provided as a package estimate and will be communicated prior to beginning treatment. The package estimate includes radiation planning, delivery, anesthesia, boarding (6:30am-8pm) and/or outpatient appointments. Chemotherapy treatments may change based on how your pet is responding and therefore overall estimates are not provided, however we will discuss the cost of each dose of chemotherapy with you. Chemotherapy is not included in radiation therapy estimates, including when chemotherapy is being delivered at the same time as radiation.

We will ask your primary care veterinarian to send referral information and your pet’s records to us prior to your appointment. However, to ensure we have complete information, please bring the following items to your appointment:

  1. A list of current medications. This should include all prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, alternative medications, and supplements.
  2. Copies of all medical records including pathology reports. (Pathology Reports: If your pet has been diagnosed with cancer, then a pathologist or your referring veterinarian has already made a diagnosis by reviewing a biopsy or tumor specimen.)
  3. Copies of any imaging you may have (x-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds or MRI).

All medical record information pertinent to the consultation, including a letter summarizing the details of your visit with the oncologist, will be sent to your pet’s primary care veterinarian. To allow for this, please be sure to provide the name of your pet’s primary veterinarian upon check-in.

If at any time, you have other questions regarding your pet’s care, please don’t hesitate to let us know. You can reach the oncology team by calling 617-541-5136 or emailing oncology@angell.org.

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