7637 SW 33rd Ave.
Portland, OR 97219
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When your pet may have cancer, you need expert care!

Cancer is NOT a simple condition or a simple verdict… Finding out that your pet has cancer can be stressful and distressing. Your family and you need to be able to make informed decisions about what is best for your pet. Dr. Melanie McMahon, DVM, MS, DACVIM-Oncology is a board certified oncologist.

Dr. McMahon's main focus as veterinary oncologist is diagnosis and treatment of various cancer conditions. The first step is to confirm the diagnosis and to discuss treatment options and prognosis.Surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and/or radiation therapy can be used to manage cancer in pets, just like in people. Dr. McMahon works together with you and your primary veterinarian to determine the right treatment plan for your pet, focusing on overall quality of life and comfort level.

Cancer Care Options


Surgery is a commonly used treatment option for pets with cancer. The best chance to achieve complete surgical removal of cancer is during the first surgery and is often best performed by a board-certified surgeon experienced in surgical oncology. Depending on the cancer, chemotherapy or immunotherapy may be recommended after surgery to improve your pet’s outcome.


Chemotherapy is often used to treat cancer that has spread (or has potential for spread) to other parts of the body or to treat cancer that cannot be treated with surgery alone. Chemotherapy can be administered intravenously on an outpatient basis or prescribed to be given orally at home. The goal of chemotherapy is to treat the cancer as effectively as possible while still providing the best quality of life to your pet. Chemotherapy is typically not expected to cure cancer in most cases, but rather control the cancer by slowing the spread or recurrence of the cancer. Most pets have an excellent quality of life during chemotherapy treatment.


Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that stimulates your pet’s immune system to fight off cancer. One example is the canine melanoma vaccine, which is used for the treatment of a type of oral cancer in dogs called malignant melanoma. This form of treatment is very well tolerated and may help improve outcome in dogs with oral malignant melanoma.

Palliative care

Palliative care is a type of treatment that focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and pain associated with cancer. The goal of palliative care is to improve the quality of life of your pet. Palliative care may involve giving oral pain medications at home, medications to simulate the appetite, or treat nausea, and/or nutritional support.

Miscellaneous cancer treatments

Other cancer treatments include radiation therapy and electrochemotherapy. A referral to a radiation oncologist or electrochemotherapy specialist can be made if these treatments are recommended for your pet.