Educational Articles

Tumors

  • Most primary lung cancers originate from the epithelium lining the airways. In dogs, most develop in the alveoli where oxygen is taken up into the body, but in people and in cats most originate in the main airways (bronchi).

  • Lymphatic tumors are rare in pets. Lymphangiomas are benign and lymphangiosarcomas are malignant and have a moderate-to-high metastatic potential. Patients with lymphatic tumors typically have severe edema because of lymphatic obstruction. These types of tumors occur more frequently in young dogs and cats. Treatment usually involves surgical excision and chemotherapy may be used as a follow-up treatment in the case of lymphangiosarcomas.

  • Lymphocytes are specialized cells that function as part of the body's immune system, and are key cells in the body's ability to fight and prevent infection. Lymphocytes are found in the blood and tissues throughout the body, and are in particular concentration in lymph nodes and other 'lymphoid tissue'.

  • Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are cells that are involved in the immune system. Lymphoma is connected with feline leukemia, a viral infection. Feline lymphoma most commonly affects the intestines. Therefore, clinical signs of lymphoma are often similar to other intestinal diseases. Diagnosing lymphoma requires finding cancerous cells on microscopic examination. Lymphoma cannot be prevented, but the likelihood of a cat developing lymphoma can be decreased by preventing feline leukemia virus infection.

  • Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymph nodes and lymphatic system. This cancer may be localized to one particular region, or may spread throughout the entire body. Lymphoma is a relatively common cancer, accounting for 15-20% of new cancer diagnoses in dogs. The prognosis for lymphoma varies, depending on various characteristics that can only be determined by specialized testing.

  • The most common forms of cutaneous lymphoma are epitheliotropic lymphoma and dermal lymphoma. No specific risk factors or causes have been identified in the development of cutaneous lymphoma. Generally, cutaneous lymphoma can appear as various-sized irritated, ulcerated, or infected patches anywhere on the skin, including the gums, nose, or lip margins. These areas may become ulcerated and bleed, or become crusted. Secondary infections are possible. By far, the most common treatment for cutaneous lymphoma is chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the response to treatment, although initially encouraging, is typically short-lived, with gradual return of the tumors.

  • Mammary tumors in dogs are not very common in North America due to routine spay procedures. Hormones play a role in tumor development in dogs. Dogs spayed before their first heat have only a 0.5% chance of developing mammary tumors. Certain breeds appear to be predisposed to developing mammary tumors. Mammary tumors are typically not painful and are usually discovered during routine examination by your veterinarian. Staging is recommended in all cases due to the tendency for these tumors to metastasize. Surgery is typically the treatment of choice and chemotherapy may be recommended after surgery.

  • Mammary tumors in cats are not very common in North America due to routine spay procedures. Hormones play a role in tumor development in cats. Cats spayed prior to 6 months of age have a reduced risk of developing mammary tumors. Siamese Cats appear to be predisposed to developing mammary tumors. Mammary tumors are typically not painful and are usually discovered during a routine physical examination. Staging is recommended in all cases due to the tendency for these tumors to metastasize. Surgery is typically the treatment of choice and chemotherapy may be recommended after surgery.

  • A mast cell tumor (MCT) is a type of tumor consisting of mast cells. Mast cell tumors can form nodules or masses in the skin (and other organs), and cause enlargement of the spleen and intestine. Most mast cell tumors are seen as firm plaques or nodules in the skin. If your cat has the splenic form of the disease, the most commonly observed signs are weight loss, vomiting, and loss of appetite. The intestinal form, depending on how severe the disease is, may cause vomiting, diarrhea, fresh red blood in the stool, or black/tar-colored stool. This cancer is typically diagnosed via fine needle aspiration or biopsy. Surgical removal of the mass is the treatment of choice. Radiation therapy may also be suggested.

  • A mast cell tumor (MCT) is a type of tumor consisting of mast cells. Mast cell tumors most commonly form nodules or masses in the skin, they can also affect other areas of the body, including the spleen, liver, intestine, and bone marrow. MCTs are particularly common in Boxers, Bull Terriers, Boston Terriers, and Labrador Retrievers. This cancer is typically diagnosed via fine needle aspiration. This tumor's behavior is complex and depends on many factors. Despite the range in behavior and prognoses, MCTs are actually one of the most treatable types of cancer. Depending on the grade, surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy are treatments for MCTs.