PetCure Oncology at AVO Highlights Pet Heroes for National Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Cancer is the leading cause of death in older dogs and cats

GILBERT, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jill MacKenzie spends her days helping veterinary professionals treat
pets with cancer, but her personal and professional lives intersected
unexpectedly when her nine-year-old Goldendoodle, Bella, was diagnosed
with a soft tissue sarcoma last month.

Now, Bella is officially a PetCure
Pet Hero
after undergoing a new treatment option called stereotactic
(SRS) that was delivered by PetCure
Oncology at Arizona Veterinary Oncology
(AVO). She received her
three treatments on consecutive days and immediately returned home.

SRS is an advanced form of radiation therapy that is widely used in
human cancer treatment and offers tremendous benefits. It is now is
being introduced to veterinary medicine for the first time at specialty
animal hospitals like AVO. Delivered with the intent to cure,
SRS is a non-invasive, non-surgical treatment that delivers high doses
of radiation with sub-millimeter precision to maximize damage to
tumorous tissue while minimizing collateral damage to nearby healthy
tissue. As a result, SRS requires only 1-3 treatment sessions – an
80-95% reduction compared to conventional radiation therapy – and
significantly reduces both the severity and duration of side effects.

“Given what I know, having Bella go through only three SRS treatments
was absolutely the best option for her,” said MacKenzie, the local
Program Director for the PetCure Oncology at AVO partnership. “There
have been no side effects. She still acts the same. She ate, took her
walks… she was very much the same dog when she came home.”

While Bella needed just three treatment sessions of SRS, a surgical
approach would have been followed by 19 treatments sessions (fractions)
– including 19 anesthetic episodes – of conventional radiation therapy.
Reducing this number so drastically has a powerful impact on the safety
and comfort of the pet. That proved to be a key factor in MacKenzie’s

“Determining the best treatment course is not a simple process,” she
said. “I thought about it, and there are definitely situations that call
for conventional radiation therapy. But the fact that Bella was a
candidate for SRS made it a pretty easy decision for my family.”

November is Pet
Cancer Awareness Month
, the perfect time to cheer those like Bella
currently battling cancer, celebrate those who have survived, and pay
tribute to those who have passed on.

is revolutionizing cancer care for pets by partnering with
established veterinary specialty practices and establishing a national
network of centers that specialize in the delivery of advanced radiation
therapy and SRS. AVO,
located at 86 W. Juniper Avenue in Gilbert, is the only provider of
veterinary SRS in the state of Arizona. Locations in Cincinnati
and Clifton,
are also in operation. Sites in Wisconsin and Illinois are slated
to open in the next few months, with many more in various stages of
development across the country. To learn more or obtain a referral, call
480.635.1110 or visit


JoAnn Stewart, RVT, CVPM
Chief Operating Officer, PetCure Oncology
(847) 275-8600 |