Educational Articles

Tumors

  • 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.

  • This is a tumor originating from cells of the mammary glands. In the cat, most mammary tumors are potentially or already malignant, so early surgical removal is important in preventing spread to other parts of the body (metastasis).

  • This is any tumor originating from the mammary gland tissues. In the dog, most tumors of this type are cured by complete surgical removal, but over time a few progress to malignancy and start to spread to other parts of the body (metastasis).

  • This is a tumor originating from the mammary gland tissues that has been classified as malignant (invasive and capable of spreading). Although some of these cancers are cured by surgical removal, others will recur locally and some spread to other parts of the body (metastasis).

  • 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.

  • Mast cells originate or are formed in the bone marrow but complete their maturation in peripheral tissues. They are found in all tissues of the body but concentrate near surfaces in contact with the external environment such as the skin, respiratory and digestive tracts.

  • Melanocytes are cells that produce a pigment called melanin. A melanoma is an abnormal production of these cells in a dysregulated manner that forms a nodule, mass, or other form of lesion. Melanomas of the skin may develop anywhere on the body and are not typically bothersome. Toe melanomas, however, can be much more painful and concerning for your pet's health. Melanomas are often black in color but some do not produce pigment (amelanotic melanoma). Fine needle aspiration or biopsy may be used for diagnosis. Melanomas of the skin and toes are treated surgically and radiation therapy may be discussed.