100% successful Photodynamic Therapy procedure for MCT grade II
Olivia's Photodynamic (Light) Therapy procedure for MCT II:
Olivia had a MCT Grade II on top of her head. She was misdiagnosed by two vets who thought it was just a cyst and could be easily removed at her next dental (two things at the same time). I didn't think it was serious..how could I? So when I took her for a dental, the vet went in to remove the "cyst".....he discovered it was a solid mass. Biopsy was positive for MCT. the vet talked to his oncologist buddy who recommended the vet go back and remove the margins and that I should have this done right away.
I called that oncologist and asked him if he was actually making a diagnosis and recommendation without even seeing my dog? And he said "I stand on my opinion". So I moved on to try and find another oncologist.
The second oncologist who was highly regarded, did a battery of tests and asked the lab for more specific info about the pathology report....so he could make a correct diagnosis and recommendation. This oncologist recommended because it was on top of the head and there was no place else to go to get margins....not to go back and remove margins but to "wait and watch" and reexamine her every two months. I could not agree and didn't feel comfortable with any advice I was receiving.
Someone recommended another oncologyst: Dr. Alan Hammer (the great in my opinion). He reviewed everything from the previous oncologist and the vets. He gave me all options and then said that there was something else that Olivia would be perfect for in his opinion: Photodynamic Therapy. I never heard of it before.
Dr. Hammer explained the procedure, the history of the development of the procedure and why he felt Olivia was perfect. Why? because of the location and the size of the tumor which made is very accessible for the light source. The light has to penetrate the tumor completely (see video from the news). I thought it over and the next day I called and said, "We're ready to go ahead."
Am I so glad I did this!!!! The treatment was painless and there is only one treatment required! Olivia had the "smart" drug administered and then Dr. Hammer applied the light to her head where the cancer cells were believed to be. The interaction of the drug and the light kills all the cancer cells. You can see them because they all turn black!
When I saw all the black areas along the incision line (from where the vet did the surgery) and how they were pooled at both ends of the incision, that's when I knew that I had given Olivia the very best chance at survival!
I took her home and she acted like nothing happened to her at all. She didn't need an E-collar or pain meds or anything. No scratching. Eat as normal. It was amazing. Now the whole area turned black but that changes over a couple of weeks and eventually her skin went back to normal. After initial follow-up exams----and everything was perfect--- We have been going back every three months. Olivia has had a blood test --a buffy coat--to check for any mast cells floating around in her blood stream. All perfect each and every time.
One year later Dr. Hammer has pronounced her cured of cancer!! How awesome is that! If not for Dr. H and Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) Olivia would have suffered with fast spreading cancer and she would have been euthanized. But we have a completely happy future now.
Even though we don't have to go back anymore, I'll still bring her in every six months for one year just so that I can feel better and then maybe just once a year.
I can't recommend this procedure highly enough. With mast cell tumors, success is about 100% and with other cancers, success rates vary from 80%. It's so worth it.
Jan and Olivia (Basset Hound, 9 years old)
Alan Hammer DVM -
Northcoast Veterinary Special.
(440) 259-0063 3375
Perry, OH 44081
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