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Educational Articles

Dogs + Tumors

  • Plasma cell tumors develop as a result of dysregulated production of plasma cells and are relatively uncommon in dogs and cats. Some plasma cell tumors are benign and are typically confined to the skin or oral cavity, and most are very treatable. Surgical excision is the treatment of choice for removal of benign plasma cell tumors, with little to no recurrence if completely excised. Conversely, multiple myeloma is an aggressive cancer that is usually treated with chemotherapy.

  • The definition of a pneumothorax is an accumulation of air outside the lungs, but inside the chest wall. The air outside the lung prevents the lungs from inflating normally, and can lead to lung collapse. There are several variations of pneumothorax.

  • The prostate gland stores sperm from the testicles and produces fluid that contains essential nutrients for the sperm. Cancers of the prostate are rare but usually involve the cells that make the fluid.

  • Radiation therapy is the medical use of high dose radiation to destroy cancer cells by damaging the cells’ DNA to interfere with cell replication and kill them. It may be used on its own or in combination with other treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy, or to reduce the size of very large tumors prior to surgery. There are several radiation protocols used in veterinary medicine. Your veterinary oncologist will choose the therapy most appropriate for your pet’s individual situation.

  • Round cell tumors are among the most common skin tumors in dogs, and they typically form just under the skin, although they may change the surface of the skin above them. When caught early, most round cell tumors are removed easily, and surgery is generally curative. The most important take home message is to be vigilant, and to have any skin lumps or bumps assessed by your veterinarian promptly.

  • Salivary cancers are almost invariably malignant tumors originating from the secretory cells of the glands. Other swellings or tumors of salivary glands may be due to infections and cysts.

  • This tumor is a disordered and purposeless overgrowth of sweat gland cells. Most sweat glands are attached to the hair follicles (paratrichial, or beside the hair) but a few are not associated with follicles (atrichial).

  • This is one of many similar tumors that arise by disordered growth of the hair follicles. Almost all of these tumors are benign and can be permanently cured by total surgical removal.

  • This tumor is a disordered and purposeless overgrowth of sebaceous gland cells. These glands are attached to the hair follicles where their function is to lubricate the hairs and skin.

  • Soft tissue sarcomas are a broad category of tumor types. These tumors can arise anywhere there is soft tissue, including the limbs, joints, face, intestine and reproductive tissues. Routine staging is recommended to help dictate therapy. If surgery is possible, wide-surgical excision is pursued. If removal is incomplete or not possible, adjunct radiation therapy can be pursued. Metronomic chemotherapy may provide benefit in patients when few options exist.