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Rizzo's Cancer Treatment Is Done!

Guest RooRoo

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It has been a long spring and summer for Rizzo. He was diagnosed with hemangiopericytoma. After 2 surgeries (including a graft) in 5 weeks in May and June, the margins were still not clean and our seemingly only option was localized radiation of the site.


After talking with friends, 2 of them mentioned how they vaguely heard about an alternative to radition: details were sketchy... something to the effect of chemo, sesame oil and Dr. Couto. This small but important lead on something less aggressive but possibly just as successful intrigued me. I wrote to Dr. C. who gladly told me about his work with intralesional (ak.a. intraincisional) chemotherapy. This method of administering chemo is not new, however, it's usually an injection into an existing tumor (one that cannot be removed with surgery). Dr. C and his colleagues have, for several years, been sucessfully performing the treatment in the sites where tumors have already been removed. The oil acts as a holding agent for the chemo drug to sit in place at the cancer site and kill the remaining cells (that is my layperson version, I am no doctor!).


I presented this information (and Dr. C's invitation for them to contact him directly) to 3 major medical facilities and several oncologists in MA and they all said it was "too new" or "not part of their protocol", "not enough research"... everyone turned us down. (I understand, I'm not upset).


The very abridged version of this happy ending is that through my persistence :blush and Dr. Couto and his team's generousity of time and knowledge, I was able to find an oncologist in an adjoining state (RI) who agreed to perform the treatment.


So instead of 17 consecutive days of aggressive radiation at the site, Rizzo had to visit the oncologist 4 times... one visit every 2 weeks. No dermal burning and weeping of a wound, no daily anethesia and driving back and forth for 3 weeks. It was so much less stressful for all of us.


As of Tuesday, Rizzo is done with treatment, with ZERO side effects and showing no signs of recurrence!! :yay We are hoping that the treatment took care of the rest of the nasty cancer cells and that it put Rizzo on a prognosis path of cancer-free for 2-3 years... the same outcome we were given for radation... only time will tell but we have no regrets and feel we made the best decision.


So a HUGE thank you to Dr. Couto for taking the time and care to educate me and communicate his expertise and protocol on to our oncologist (thank you Dr. H for your openmindedness and kindness). To K and M who told mentioned this in the first place and to K and C who passed along Dr. H's name as someone to present the info to when I was just about ready to give up.


This treatment is not for all cancers, of course, or for all cases but keep it in mind when your vet/oncologist recommend radiation as the only option for your pup after a tumor removal. Bring up intralesional (intraincisional) chemotherapy and spread the word about this application of the treatment. It may be an option, an alternative to radiation. Dr. C and his team have been using this in place of radiation for 6 years and claim that it is as effective as radiation with a 75%-80% rate of success. Pass the knowledge onto your doctor - it's worth looking into in the very least even if ultimately it's not an option for every dog.


Thanks for reading and without further ado... RIZZO!!!!!!!!!!!


Rizzo when things were rough :(



Healing from second surgery



Getting there...



Today- our happy boy, moving on and not looking back



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That is Greyt News and another success story by Dr. Couto!!!! He looks great keep up the good work Rizzo, you are adorable. :wub::wub::wub::yay:yay:yay

Darlene Mom to: Aladdin, Sophie ,Pongo, Jasmine, Relic Forever in our Hearts Champ at the Rainbow Bridge.

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Rizzo!wub: I'm so happy to hear that he is done with his treatment and doing well! Just out of curiosity, where in RI did he get his treatment?


Ocean State Veterinary Specialists in E. Greenwich :D

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Thank you for sharing Rizzo's story with us, you never know when one of us might need this information. I'm so glad you were persistent and able to find a willing vet. Does Dr. Couto need to publish his findings in a medical journal before others are willing to try it? I really don't understand the reluctance to try new things.


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Oh boy....my eyes are leaking! He looks SO good...he looks SO happy! :wub: Thank you Dr. Couto for helping Rizzo! :grouphug


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Guest nerak254

I don't understand when a teaching institution will refuse because something is too new or experimental. IMO, wen we are presented with these new things, we are usually out of other options. It sounds like I was lucky when Jessica wasn't feeling well at the end that my vet was willing to try something new. Didn't have a positive result and I don't blame him for that, you don't learn if you don't try.

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Guest FullMetalFrank

Awesome, wonderful news. Rizzo looks great; the treatment sounded very interesting! I hope everything worked very well and that Rizzo is healthy and happy for many years to come.

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Nephew Argos is very happy for his Uncle Rizzo (so are Scott & Noreen!!)

We are thrilled to know the treatment is completed. It was absolutely the best course. He is such a nervous fellow that we think the strain of radiation might have been too much. He is so happy every week that I think that proves what a great course of action this was.

Yeah for Dr. Couto and your Rhode Island vet who was willing and able to try this treatment method. :yay :yay :yay


See you tomorrow on the trail!

Yeah Uncle Rizzo!!!!! :pepper:banana:confetti

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