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Tuesday, Aug 14, 2018
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Orangutan doing well after cancer diagnosis

MIAMI - The orangutan that underwent cancer treatment in Miami “is doing very well” one year after her diagnosis, her doctors said. Peanut, now 9, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after her veterinary team found she had an intestinal obstruction and further testing revealed the cancer. Doctors put her on a plan for treatment that has been most effective in humans. After three courses of chemotherapy, her doctors decided to stop her treatments for the aggressive lymphoma. Dr. Jason Chatfield, curator and staff veterinarian for Jungle Island, said in Nov. that the stress of “multiple immobilizations” for the treatment was a factor in a decision to end her chemotherapy. “What we do know is that without this chemotherapy, Peanut would not survive,” Chatfield said at the time.
Now, a year later, she “is doing very well.” “Peanut has handled this process with remarkable strength and we are could not be happier with her continued progress,” Dr. Chatfield said in a statement this week. “Though we have made it through this first milestone, we will continue to monitor Peanut's health and her daily habits for any signs of relapse or illness.” As part of her annual medical exam, doctors will also include diagnostic imaging such as a CT scan, radiology and ultra sound. Peanut and her fraternal twin, Pumpkin, were born in captivity and came to Jungle Island when they were 6 months old. The youngest of six orangutans there, the two have been a hit with park visitors, using sign language and an iPad to communicate with their trainers. Pumpkin will also have an annual exam. She has not been diagnosed with the disease.
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