The Treatment Planning & Delivery Process - What to Expect
First, a detailed view of the cancer within your pet’s body will be captured through advanced imaging. This will likely involve a CT (computed tomography) scan to obtain images of your pet’s tumor. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan may also be performed for brain tumors. These images are converted into a custom three-dimensional model of your pet’s internal anatomy.
Then, using a powerful computer program, a treatment plan will be created based on tumor size, shape and location. The proper radiation dose will be calculated, including the number of treatment sessions your pet will need (between one and three).
Once the treatment plan is developed, the first treatment begins. The radiation is delivered by a machine called a linear accelerator, which generates precise, narrow beams of radiation that target a tumor with minimal damage to nearby healthy tissue.
Treatment times vary depending on tumor size, location and number of tumors. On average, treatments last 15 to 20 minutes but for difficult cases may take up to an hour. We’ll do our best to provide an estimate prior to the start of treatment.
Because your pet must lie completely still during treatment, anesthesia is administered before each treatment session and during the initial treatment planning.