How long will my pet live?
Predicting how long your animal can live with a brain tumour can be very difficult as this estimation depends on many factors including the type of tumour (which determine how quickly it grows), its size and place within the brain and finally the treatment used. Although many animals survive only a matter of months after diagnosis of a brain tumour, with help they can have a good quality of life.
If you decide to opt for treatment this time may help you to come to terms with what is happening to your pet and to have some happy memories to keep. As a rough guide, average remission time ranges from 1 to 6 months with corticosteroids alone, from 8 to 14 months with radiotherapy alone and 12 to 20 months with surgery followed by radiotherapy.
Chemotherapy basically is treatment with high-powered drugs designed to kill rapidly growing cells. Chemotherapy targets not only cancer cells, but also cells of the body that normally are rapidly growing or reproducing, such as cells of the intestinal lining and hair follicles. This is what accounts for many of the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy, including nausea and hair loss, in both dogs and in people. Nonetheless, chemotherapy is an important part of cancer therapy considerations for owner of affected dogs. Unfortunately, most chemotherapeutic drugs do not cross what is called the “drug-brain barrier”, which means that the drugs may not enter the brain and/or the spinal cord and therefore may not have their intended effect. However, there are some chemotherapeutic agents that can help to reduce brain tumors.