New Glossary Aims to Improve Communication Around Veterinary Oncology

(19.01.2022) WSAVA’s Oncology Working Group aims to help owners better understand cancer terminology

A Glossary of terms used commonly in veterinary oncology has been launched by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Oncology Working Group (WOW).

 With cancer such a complex disease, the Working Group hopes that the Glossary will give owners a clearer understanding of the choices facing them in terms of the diagnosis and management of their pet’s disease and to discuss their care with their veterinarian from a more informed perspective.

Professor Nick Bacon; Bildquelle: WSAVA
Professor Nick Bacon

The Oncology Glossary is the first output from the WOW Group which was formed in 2021 to raise awareness of the latest thinking in cancer therapy and promote best practice globally. It explains in straightforward language many of the medical terms used in describing the presentation, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in pets with images to help illustrate some of the key terms.

The document is available in for free download from the WSAVA website in a range of languages.

Commenting on the launch of the Oncology Glossary, WOW Group Member Professor Nick Bacon, a RCVS-Recognized Specialist in Small Animal Surgery (Oncology) and a European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery, said: “Cancer has a language all of its own and, during our early WOW Group discussions, it became obvious that, in order to improve communication between veterinary professionals and owners, there was an urgent need for a globally accessible resource to help owners better understand cancer terminology.

“Our Oncology Glossary is the result. We hope it will enable owners to feel on a more equal footing when they are discussing their pet’s condition with veterinary professionals. We hope it will also increase the consistency and effectiveness of communication about veterinary oncology globally.”

He added: “We will update the Oncology Glossary regularly and are now working on the development of further practical and easy-to-use tools to support veterinarians working in this rapidly evolving area of veterinary medicine. In the meantime, more resources are available on our web page at

The WSAVA Oncology Working Group (WOW) was set up during 2021 under chairmanship of Dr Martin Soberano, a veterinary oncologist working in Mexico City.

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