I'm an assistant professor of medical oncology at North Carolina State University and Certified Veterinary Journalist. I'm here to share information about veterinary oncology and dispel myths about cancer care for pets!

Growth Factors

When I first started writing on this site, I chose the title "Growth Factors" because it held a clever dual meaning to me. Biologically speaking, growth factors are substances such as hormones, that influence the growth of cells. We can't exist without growth factors. Nor can we adapt to our ever changing environmental challenges. Our … Continue reading Growth Factors

For Sepsie

While I love all animals, I’m known for being partial to cats. This wasn’t always the case – in fact, prior to having a cat, I really never understood their appeal. I questioned the redeeming value of owning something so aloof and independent. Dogs, with their unconditional love and constant want to please, were my … Continue reading For Sepsie

What is a board-certified veterinary oncologist?

My goal for this website is to provide pet owners with factual information regarding the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in pets and to delve into the complicated emotional aspects surrounding cancer care in animals. While this will always be my main focus, I wanted to revisit the basics of veterinary specialty care and help … Continue reading What is a board-certified veterinary oncologist?

What to avoid when your pet is diagnosed with cancer

Learning that your pet has cancer is devastating. Deciding on which, if any, treatment path to take is confusing and it is normal to feel anxious as you are making decisions for your pet. Owners frequently struggle with feeling a lack of control and search for options to enhance their pet’s prognosis during their treatment … Continue reading What to avoid when your pet is diagnosed with cancer

On gratitude…

Let’s talk gratitude. The holidays are the time of the year when we’re supposed to focus on being grateful. It’s nearly an obligation. We give thanks for all the things we take for granted at all the other times. We’re thankful for our friends and family. For our health and happiness. We pause to connect … Continue reading On gratitude…

5 types of skin cancer in dogs

The skin is the largest organ of a dog, and tumors affecting this structure are common. Between 60 to 80 percent of skin tumors in dogs are benign, meaning if you notice a lump on your dog’s skin, there’s a good chance it won’t be anything to worry about. However, the visible appearance of a … Continue reading 5 types of skin cancer in dogs

I’m part of the problem. Are you?

A recent suicide of another veterinarian once again sparked a burst of concern regarding the mental health of those of us entrenched in this profession. As an isolated event, this news is nothing short of tragic. What is equally as concerning is how this heartbreaking news is an alarmingly repetitive part of our community. In … Continue reading I’m part of the problem. Are you?

I’m here to make cancer less scary…

A few weeks ago I was asked to be formally interviewed as a means to introduce me to the surrounding community. NC State takes an active role in promoting recently hired faculty and as the new kid on the block, it made sense it would be my turn to spend some time describing myself and my … Continue reading I’m here to make cancer less scary…

How changing sides made this oncologist a happier person…

I’ve moved to the other side. But the thing is, it’s not so dark where I stand.   During my residency in medical oncology, amidst the strain of learning my craft, seeing countless appointments, and studying for board exams, I centered myself by meditating on where I would wind up working when I finished. It … Continue reading How changing sides made this oncologist a happier person…

Top 5 tips for treating and beating lymphoma in dogs!

Lymphoma is a blood-borne cancer of lymphocytes, which are a specific type of white blood cell. It is the most common cancer diagnosed in dogs. There are several forms of lymphoma in dogs, the most common being high-grade lymphoblastic B-cell lymphoma, which closely resembles non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in people. Lymphoma is one of the most treatable … Continue reading Top 5 tips for treating and beating lymphoma in dogs!

On situational awareness and veterinary oncology…

Situational awareness is “the perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status after some variable has changed, such as time, or some other variable, such as a predetermined event.” In other words, were talking about paying deep attention to what’s … Continue reading On situational awareness and veterinary oncology…

How this veterinary oncologist learns more about her specialty when cancer crosses species to her owners.

I’m seated across from one of my favorite owners and her endearing 9-year-old Lhasa Apso, Sparky. I’m reviewing Sparky’s medical record, determining when he’s due for repeat chest x-rays to make sure his there’s no evidence of his cancer resurfacing. Sparky is customarily unimpressed, making no attempt to stifle an uninterested yawn. Mrs. Baker, Sparky’s … Continue reading How this veterinary oncologist learns more about her specialty when cancer crosses species to her owners.

When the bottom line is about the bottom line…

Veterinary school taught me veterinary ethics, not business ethics. I’ve never possessed a driving ambition to own my own practice. My professional goal was to earn a living doing what I love rather manage my own hospital. My vision was to be employed in a position where using my expertise in treating cancer in pets … Continue reading When the bottom line is about the bottom line…

Why is my veterinarian NOT recommending chemotherapy?

The results of a study titled “Survey of UK-based veterinary surgeons’ opinions on the use of surgery and chemotherapy in the treatment of canine high-grade mast cell tumour, splenic haemangiosarcoma and appendicular osteosarcoma” were recently published. The study examined what percent of general veterinarians recommended chemotherapy for the three specific tumor types listed in the … Continue reading Why is my veterinarian NOT recommending chemotherapy?

If you want to be a veterinarian, you better like people!

My advice to anyone aspiring to be a veterinarian? Get used to talking to people. Pursuing a career in veterinary medicine is tough. Just considering the process of applying to veterinary school is daunting. There are numerous standardized tests, the need for superior letters of recommendation, and the stress associated with composing the perfect personal … Continue reading If you want to be a veterinarian, you better like people!