Unfortunately, there is currently no known “cure” for Canine Lymphoma.* Therefore, by definition, virtually all of the treatments used to fight Canine Lymphoma are essentially “palliative” in nature.
* Note: One exception is Bone Marrow Transplant therapy, which while very expensive and not practical in the vast majority of cases, does have some potential to cure Canine Lymphoma in some limited number of cases. For more information, visit the Bone Marrow Transplant Therapy page.
Palliative care basically means making the patient feel better. Effectively it’s a concession that we’re not going to be able to reverse the cancer and make it disappear forever, but we want to do some things (for example “debulking” the tumor by removing part of it with surgery for other types of non-Lymphoma tumors, prescribing medicines that reduce the patient’s pain, or other medicines like Prednisone that reduce swelling and make the patient feel healthy), to make the patient more comfortable and possibly slow the growth of the cancer, if only for a short while.
However, given the high remission rate for Canine Lymphoma patients, even though technically Canine Lymphoma treatments are only palliative in nature (since we expect the cancer to return after a period of good health), they certainly can seem to be “curative” if only for a short period of time
To some degree though, while it’s likely that there is still some cancer lurking in the background, the extended period of remission available under modern conventional Canine Lymphoma treatments can seem different from the standard temporary “palliative” care given for dogs with other types of cancer.