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New Radiation Center Provides Accessible Options for Pets with Cancer

AMES, Iowa  --  A new radiation therapy center in central Iowa is offering cancer treatment for pets.

Before the Iowa State University Small Animal Hospital facility opened in mid-February, the only other facilities for Stereotactic Radiation Therapy were in Colorado or Wisconsin.

Dr. Chad Johannes, Veterinarian and Assistant Professor of Oncology, said having a facility so close is beneficial not only for the owners but the pets have a better quality of life because they have the option to go home after treatments or during the weekends.

Animals can have anywhere from three to 20 treatments.

During the treatment, animals must be put under anesthesia so they will not move. The treatment is called Stereotactic Radiation Therapy. It is a very precise delivery of a very high intense energy radiation. It is supposed to cut down the number of radiation sessions by 95%.

Dr. Johannes said older animals are more prone to developing cancers so if you notice anything unusual talk to your veterinarian.

“Especially if you see a new lump or bump, anything like that, have it evaluated by your primary care veterinarian, often times we can still a small needle in those masses and take a look under the microscope and tell us if it’s something to be concerned about or not,” Dr. Johannes said.

Radiation can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $9,000 depending on the number of treatments.

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