It was a case of “lights, camera, action” at Fitzpatrick Referrals Oncology and Soft Tissue Hospital this month as BBC’s Countryfile filmed a segment on canine cancer.

Fitzpatrick team.
The team on one of the filming days. L-R: Kelvin Kow, Noel Fitzpatrick, Adam Henson, Nick Bacon and Laurent Findji.

The forthcoming episode will feature interviews with hospital staff, patient journeys and tips for viewers to help look for signs of cancer in their pets.

Utilising the show’s target audience, the focus was particularly on working, countryside and farm dogs, including interviews with their owners about how they felt proceeding with treatment and the subsequent outcome.

New cancer treatments

Presenter Adam Henson met with Nick Bacon and Noel Fitzpatrick at the Surrey base to discuss:

  • new cancer treatments available at the hospital
  • signs and symptoms
  • how outcomes can often be very positive providing the disease is caught early

Filming took place over two days, where Mr Henson observed a number of procedures and treatments – including ultrasounds and chemotherapy – to understand the patient journey.

Ageing canine population

Adam filming with Noel.
Adam filming with Noel.

Prof Bacon said he was pleased the show took an interest in cancer in pets as it is being diagnosed more frequently in an ever-ageing population.

He said: “We were especially pleased to show some of our patients are working dogs and many can return to a full and normal life after treatment.

“There are several centres in the UK collaborating with our colleagues in human oncology and I am pleased to say the Fitzpatrick oncology and soft tissue team is among them, as together we try to better understand human and animal cancers.

“I hope this programme will show the public cancer in pets is not a death sentence. Options to improve quality of life almost always exist, and our goal is not to prolong suffering, rather give the owners all options and help them navigate one that feels right for them and their family.”

  • The episode will screen later in October.


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