Lola's journey with Southfields
December 16, 2021
Lola was presented to us in May 2021 after being diagnosed with a nerve sheath tumour (NST). She was initially seen by a neurologist at a different specialist centre, after going off her back legs. This revealed a spinal cord tumour and surgery was performed to remove the mass. This was successful, a post-op MRI revealed all the visible tumour had been removed and her back leg function returned.
Unfortunately, these tumours are very infiltrative and they are rarely successfully treated with surgery alone. When Lola went off her back legs again and showed some spinal pain, her owners were understandably very concerned that the tumour was recurring. Unfortunately, this was confirmed on an MRI in May.
NSTs are generally very resistant to long-term control with radiotherapy and it was felt that it was unlikely that Lola would walk again. Therefore, the owners and James Elliott, one of Southfields’ Oncology specialists, decided on a less intensive course of radiotherapy so that Lola could spend as much time at home as possible. This went without concern and there were no appreciable side effects of treatment.
Several months later, little Lola is defying the odds and is having a great quality of life at home. As predicted, she still needs her cart but is getting about just fine with help from her owners.
Radiotherapy can be very useful, even when a cure is unlikely. It can help slow the progression of tumours and in many cases, side effects are very mild or even non-existent. It can also provide excellent pain relief for some types of cancer.