The Oncology department at The Hope Center focuses on the care and treatment of patients diagnosed with cancer. This disease, in addition to it being physically challenging for the pet, it is also a troubling time for the owner. The department relies on the most advanced cancer therapies to treat the patient as well as education to help pet owners understand their pet’s condition and make the most informed decisions possible in line with the wishes of their family.
Emotional turmoil and feelings of helplessness are common when a pet is diagnosed with cancer. We consider it our duty to make the process as painless as possible. We try to spoil pets and owners alike, and to treat you as a part of our own family.
We believe the best way to combat the feelings of distress is to provide information and understanding. Many clients find it overwhelming to digest the amount of information regarding the diagnosis, potential treatment options and possible side effects. We excel at educating clients so that you may feel empowered and capable of making decisions.
There are always several different options for treatment. We offer state-of-the-art cancer care, combining traditional methods with cutting edge protocols. Dr. Beck and Dr. McNeill have experience not only with veterinary cancer, but also with several leading human oncology centers and with research for the National Cancer Institute.
Treatment recommendations should consider all aspects of the pet’s health, including pain relief, nutrition, and complementary and alternative therapies. Many newer drugs have almost eliminated debilitating side effects and most sources of pain.
This should be the ultimate goal of treatment, especially in pets whose cancer is not curable. By aggressively preventing pain and side effects, we expect our patients to have a higher quality of life than they did prior to diagnosis. We also speak with each family so that they know that saying goodbye is not giving up. We have many resources available for hospice and end of life decisions.
In cooperation with National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Hope Advanced Veterinary Center is working to enroll dogs in a study evaluating osteosarcoma using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI provides superior anatomic detail, particularly of the soft tissues associated with the tumor. Subsequent studies will evaluate the addition of a tracer called 13C-pyruvate, to map the areas of tumor that are metabolically active.
Dr. Beck joined The Hope Center in 2007 after a prestigious career in the field of Veterinary Oncology. Double-Boarded in Veterinary Oncology and Radiation Therapy, Dr. Beck has worked with a number of academic and private institutions providing her expertise and guidance. Dr. Beck’s major focus has been on developing cutting edge cancer treatments in pets that could be rapidly translated into human treatments. She believes in a multidiscipline approach, combining the best combinations of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer treatments, to provide the best possible care, while avoiding side effects, and making the process as pleasant as possible for pets and their owners.
Dr. Conor McNeill joined The Hope Center in August 2009. He received his veterinary degree from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. After moving to the United States, he completed a rotating small animal internship in medicine and surgery at the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He remained at the University of Pennsylvania to complete a residency in medical oncology and a fellowship in radiation oncology. Dr. McNeill is currently also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Oncology at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia. Dr. McNeill is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and is board certified in Oncology by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
Lisa has been working in Veterinary Medicine since 1998 in various fields. She graduated cum laude in the Veterinary Technology program at NVCC in 2002 and completed her Bachelors of Science in Biology at George Mason University in 2009. She joined The Hope Center in 2004 working in the Emergency and Critical Care department and was quickly promoted to Lead Technician for the overnight shift. In 2010, a new and exciting challenge arose within the Oncology department that allowed her to become the Lead Technician for Dr. McNeill. She looks forward to providing your pets with the same compassion and dedication as if they were her own.
She was married on the white sands of Aruba in 2009 and lives happily with her husband and their 3 pets: Gabriel (drama queen), Kristy (cuddly food vacuum), and Monte Cristo (Chesapeake Bay Retriever who saved a drowning boys life in OBX.)
She is a member of the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (VECCS.)
Stephanie is a Licensed Veterinary Technician. She has a Master’s degree in art history. After eight years in educational publishing, she decided to pursue her other passion in life: caring for animals. In 2013, Stephanie graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Veterinary Technician Program at NVCC. During the program, she completed a summer internship at The Hope Center where she developed an interest in Oncology and has continued to work for the department. She loves the personal client and patient interaction in the Oncology Department and specifically likes working with feline patients. Stephanie and her husband have four rescue cats (Petey, Aslan, Lover Boy, and Bear) and two rescue dogs (Rory and Briar). In her free time, she enjoys volunteering at Inova Fairfax Hospital visiting patients with Rory as part of the Animal Assisted Care Department, hiking, and visiting local wineries.
Erica has been working in veterinary medicine since 2008. In that time she has worked in small animal general practice, mobile practice as well as in exotic animal medicine before joining the oncology team at THC in the summer of 2015.
She graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Environmental Studies in 2005 from Washington College and later returned to school in 2011 to obtain her degree in Veterinary Technology, graduating magna cum laude. She became a Licensed Veterinary Technician in 2013.
Professionally, her interests include exotic animal medicine, wildlife rehabilitation and internal medicine. She has also been an Army wife, worked in horticulture and at a wildlife rehabilitation clinic and is a Philadelphia native (go Phillies!).
Erica and her husband Matt share their home with two very opinionated, adorable and spoiled rabbits, Snicket and Boo. In her spare time, Erica enjoys travelling, writing, cooking, outdoor activities, crafting and all things rabbit related.
Brittany has always known that she wanted to work with animals and once entering the field as an assistant in 2008, she was hooked. Brittany is currently enrolled in the Cedar Valley Veterinary Technology Program to earn her license.
Brittany has a healthy obsession for Basset Hounds and has one of her own named Clyde. He’s often flanked by his cohabitant, a 6 year old cat named Grady. Outside of work, Brittany enjoys horseback riding, hiking and fishing.
“Could not have asked for a better experience. Much better than most human hospital experiences. Thanks so much.”
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