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Educational Articles

Tumors

  • Fibrosarcoma is a tumor originating from the fibroblasts of the skin and subcutaneous connective tissue. The tumors vary in growth rate.

  • Fibrosarcomas and spindle cell tumors originate from the connective tissue of, or beneath, the skin. The tumor is diverse in appearance and several different cell lines produce tumors of similar appearance.

  • This tumor is a disordered and purposeless overgrowth of modified sebaceous (sweat) glands known as the hepatoid glands. These glands only occur in dogs.

  • An insulinoma is a tumor that involves the beta cells of the pancreas. Beta cells are the cells that produce the hormone insulin. Insulinomas are surprisingly common in ferrets.

  • It is important to recognize that multiple tumors in the liver are not always cancers. The livers of older dogs may become nodular without causing any clinical effects.

  • The liver has a massive blood supply so many cancer cells from elsewhere arrive within it and start to grow. In dogs, metastatic tumors are three times as common as primary tumors and over 30% of malignant cancer may metastasize to the liver.

  • 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.