A bottlenose dolphin recently diagnosed with cancer is responding well to treatment. After the announcement of his diagnosis in September, 47-year-old Lucky was flown to his old home to Brookfield Zoo in Chicago to receive testing and treatment. Upon his return to the zoo, Lucky underwent a thorough health assessment that included diagnostic imaging to assess whether the cancer had spread to other parts of his body. Thankfully, there was no evidence of cancer in his lymph nodes or other parts of his body at this time. The brave cetacean has squamous cell carcinoma, which can develop in humans and other animals and originates from cells found on the surface of the skin, the lining of hollow organs, and the respiratory and digestive tracts. After consultation with other facilities that have experience treating similar cancer lesions in dolphins cryotherapy was chosen as Lucky’s initial treatment modality. The 500-pound bottlenose dolphin voluntarily participates in his treatments three to four times a week. To monitor his condition, Lucky will have regular follow-up examinations and diagnostic imaging to screen for metastasis (spread) of his cancer.
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