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SASH's Cancer Centre Offers Hope

Animal Cancer Centre offers fresh hope to Australia’s beloved companions

The Small Animal Specialist Hospital’s (SASH) innovative therapies and world leading clinicians are providing Australian families with fresh hope in the form of new treatment options for their beloved pets when faced with a cancer diagnosis.

The prevalence of cancer in animals - particularly dogs and cats - is identical to that of humans, one in every four dogs will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime and it is the leading cause of death in pets beyond middle age.

Dr Veronika Langova is a specialist medical oncologist at SASH and works alongside a dedicated team of specialists to provide a range of treatment options to cancer patients.

Jack's Radiograph of Osteosarcoma

“Cancer in animals is treated in many of the same ways that cancer in people is treated - surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy. Though in general, animals tolerate many of these treatments better than people do.”

SASH’s Cancer Centre is unique in its ability to provide three types of cancer treatment, including medical, surgical and radiation, each able to be used independently or in combination.

For 14-year-old rescue cat and cancer patient, Jack Nel, SASH’s combined cancer treatment capability has successfully treated four different types of cancer over five years!

Across his treatments, Jack has been seen by surgery, diagnostic imaging, medical oncology, radiation oncology, sports medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, ER, critical care, and neurosurgery.

Jack Nel being operated for meningioma in 2021

Owner Dr Ilze Nel is grateful to the team at SASH for their care and diligence with Jack and hopes that Jack can be a source of inspiration to other pet owners who receive cancer diagnoses for their beloved furry friends.

“Receiving the diagnosis can be devasting but as I’ve seen with Jack’s treatments, there are so many different options for treatment these days and animals are so resilient.”
“Whenever we are assessing treatment options for patients, our decisions are always made to promote the best quality of life in our patients,” says Dr Langova.
Early diagnosis is key as many of the common types of cancers in animals are manageable with the appropriate treatment. We are often able to significantly extend life and provide improvements in their quality of life for prolonged periods of time.

Jack is loving life after making a full recovery from his multiple health issues

“Jack is doing very well – he’s acting like a kitten again with so much energy. His recovery brought inspiration and comfort to a human friend also going through cancer treatment,” added Dr Nel.

Dr Langova urges pet owners to get a check-up if pets are not acting like themselves and notes that cats particularly are very good at hiding when they’re not feeling well.

“The key is often early detection, as we saw in each of Jack’s cancers. Sometimes symptoms can show up in different forms. Seizures in cats may present as sneezes, for example.”

With the advancement of cancer treatments, more patients are seeing recoveries and an improved quality of life.

Each SASH location is open every day of the year for walk-ins, when urgent veterinary care is needed, or when the local veterinary practice is closed.

To learn more about SASH’s work, visit or contact (02) 9889 0289.

MEDIA RELEASE, 13th December 2022

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