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HomeSmall Animal Veterinary ServicesVeterinary Tumors

Veterinary Tumors

Anal Sac Adenocarcinoma, Canine

Anal gland tumors are aggressive may recur locally. In most cases, these tumors will initially spread to regional lymph nodes in the sublumbar region (over 50%) and the lungs (~20-30%). Approximately 25-50% will also be hypercalcemic at diagnosis. The best treatment for these tumors is local therapy (surgical resection +/- radiation), systemic chemotherapy, receptor-targeted therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications. Dogs treated with a combination of surgery, +/-radiation, and chemotherapy median survival times were approximately 12-18 months. However, some patients may go on for 24-36 months if there is no evidence of tumor spread with multi-modality therapy typically consisting of surgery + chemotherapy or surgery + radiation + chemotherapy. In patients where the tumor cannot be removed that are treated with systemic therapy, survival times usually range from 6-8 months and up to 12 months or less pending on the size of the tumor and if disease spread was noted at the start of therapy.

Bladder Tumors, Canine

Transitional cell carcinoma is the most common type of bladder cancer occurring in over 90% of dogs with a confirmed bladder mass. Scottish Terriers, Westies, Beagles, Australian Shephards, and Wheatens are common breeds affected with this disease. A bladder or urethral mass is often confirmed on abdominal ultrasound. Cystoscopy and biopsy or traumatic catheterization are the standard diagnostics to determine a diagnosis. Surgery to remove the bladder mass in dogs with transitional cell carcinoma has not shown to lengthen survival times and there is also the concern for seeding the tumor to the abdominal wall or other areas with surgery/cystotomy. Vinblastine has been used to treat bladder cancer in humans; and previous studies have shown encouraging results at Purdue VTH. Based on research at PUVTH, approximately 35-40% of dogs will experience substantial shrinkage (50% or greater) of the tumor and 40-50% of dogs achieve stabilization of their cancer. Mitoxantrone and Carboplatin are chemotherapeutics, which also have shown efficacy against transitional cell carcinoma. Piroxicam is a cyclooxygenase inhibitor that has specifically been shown to be effective for the treatment of TCC; approximately 60% of dogs will have stabilization of their tumors for 4-6 months. Urethral stent placement is the most natural way to avoid urinary tract obstruction with cancers of the urinary tract and ureteral stents are used to relieve obstructions of the tubes leading from the kidneys to the urinary bladder. Contrast imaging is often used to determine if the patient is an appropriate candidacy for this procedure and for stent placement.

Carcinomatosis, Canine/Feline

Canine and feline patients with carcinoma will often develop carcinomatosis, which is the spread of the disease throughout the abdomen and potentially chest. We often treat these patients with palliative care in order to help keep them comfortable. Chemotherapy may also be administered to these patients. The goal with any treatment is to slow down the progression of their disease especially in patients that are already sick with diffuse metastasis. We often manage their symptoms with pain medications, anti-inflammatory medications (steroids, etc.), and additional medications (vitamin B12. SQ fluids, appetite stimulants, etc.) to help keep them as comfortable as possible.

Hemangiosarcoma, Canine

Hemangiosarcoma is a type of cancer that can affect multiple organs in dogs. Surgical excision of the affected region is the recommended treatment often with follow-up chemotherapy in many cases due to the high rate of disease spread associated with this disease. There are three forms of hemangiosarcoma that can affect dogs including: dermal, hypodermal, and visceral (organs). Dermal hemangiosarcoma is confined to the surface of the skin and has an approximately 30% metastatic rate or rate of disease spread. Subcutaneous/hypodermal hemangiosarcoma may occur anywhere on the body and is more invasive than the dermal form. Subcutaneous/hypodermal hemangiosarcoma tends to be locally invasive with a very high metastatic potential (high likelihood for disease spread). Greater than 60% of dogs with this form of hemangiosarcoma will develop metastasis and the average prognosis is often less than 6 months in patients with confirmed metastasis. Common sites for tumor spread include the spleen, abdominal lymph nodes, liver, omentum, mesentery, and lungs. Other sites that can be affected include the right atrium of the heart and central nervous system. If there is a cavitated mass involving the spleen, then we will often recommend performing a splenectomy (surgical removal of the spleen) with follow-up chemotherpy. Adriamycin chemotherapy consists of administering an intravenous chemotherapeutic (doxorubicin/adriamycin) once every 3 weeks for a maximum of 6 treatments and is recommended following surgical mass removal when possible to help delay the onset of metastatic tumor spread.

Histiocytic Sarcoma, Canine

Histiocytic sarcoma is a type of cancer that can affect multiple organs in dogs. Bernese Mountain dogs are genetically prone to developing this particular cancer. Flat coated retrievers are also predisposed to developing this cancer type. Histiocytic sarcoma has a high metastatic rate (over 90%) or high likelihood of disease spread. Common sites for tumor spread include the spleen, abdominal lymph nodes, liver, omentum, mesentery, and lungs. Other sites that can be affected include the central nervous system, including brain, spinal cord, etc. and bones. CCNU (Lomustine) chemotherapy is the primary treatment for this disease and is administered orally as a single agent every 2-3 weeks and has shown the best efficacy for patients with histiocytic sarcoma. Steroids may also be started to help with the secondary inflammation associated with this disease. Our goal with the chemotherapy is to help slow down the progression of the disease, but does not generally provide a cure. In most cases, survival times are usually approximately 4-8 months even with chemotherapy due to the aggressive nature of this disease. Without chemotherapy, the overall prognosis is typically less than 1-2 months.

Insulinoma, Canine

Histiocytic sarcoma is a type of cancer that can affect multiple organs in dogs. Bernese Mountain dogs are genetically prone to developing this particular cancer. Flat coated retrievers are also predisposed to developing this cancer type. Histiocytic sarcoma has a high metastatic rate (over 90%) or high likelihood of disease spread. Common sites for tumor spread include the spleen, abdominal lymph nodes, liver, omentum, mesentery, and lungs. Other sites that can be affected include the central nervous system, including brain, spinal cord, etc. and bones. CCNU (Lomustine) chemotherapy is the primary treatment for this disease and is administered orally as a single agent every 2-3 weeks and has shown the best efficacy for patients with histiocytic sarcoma. Steroids may also be started to help with the secondary inflammation associated with this disease. Our goal with the chemotherapy is to help slow down the progression of the disease, but does not generally provide a cure. In most cases, survival times are usually approximately 4-8 months even with chemotherapy due to the aggressive nature of this disease. Without chemotherapy, the overall prognosis is typically less than 1-2 months.

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, Canine

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia in dogs is best kept under control through monitoring the dog. As long as no other conditions appear, no treatment needs to be initiated. If the condition is advanced and causes anemia (decreased red cells), thrombocytopenia (decreased platelets) or other symptoms such as enlarged spleen (splenomegaly) or lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy), treatment is needed. This usually consists of medication to reduce the number of white cells. Remission is possible, however remission episodes are temporary and the treatment needs to be restarted. The typical treatment consists of chlorambucil chemotherapy in various doses, depending on the degree of remission. If this treatment fails, chemotherapy is the alternative. As chronic lymphocytic leukemia progresses slowly, some dogs can go on without chemotherapy for up to 2 years. Once this form of leukemia has been diagnosed and there are clinical symptoms, treatment can help slow down the progression of the disease course.

Lymphoma, Canine

Lymphoma is a type of cancer involving an increased proliferation of a type of white blood cell, called a lymphocyte, which originates outside the bone marrow and is released into systemic circulation. Chemotherapy is the recommended treatment for dogs with lymphoma and the majority of patients will be able to clinically attain a complete remission. There are several chemotherapy protocols available, which have proven effectiveness for this disease. In many cases, we will start with an induction phase, at which time higher doses of chemotherapy are administered, followed by a maintenance phase, which often involves administering low doses of chemotherapy (most commonly oral cyclophosphamide or chlorambucil) at home. For the induction phase of chemotherapy, a protocol consisting of vincristine, cyclophosphamide, and doxorubicin along with prednisone has shown the longest remission times. L-asparaginase is a fast-acting chemotherapeutic, which may be administered at the start of the induction therapies in order to treat the disease rapidly. Generally remission times for patients with stage 5 lymphoma (skin, eye, GI, ect. Involvement), liver involvement, T-cell lymphoma, that are sick at diagnosis (substage b), or with hypercalcemia are around 6-8 months vs with stage 4 spleen involvement or less that are feeling well at diagnosis (substage a), and B-cell type, which are approximately 12-14 months with the 25 week or 19 week protocol. If we administer Adriamycin chemotherapy (strongest agent in the protocol) as a single agent every 2-3 weeks for 5-6 treatments, remission times are approximately 8-10 months. We may administer CCNU (Lomustine) orally every 2-3 weeks for 5-6 treatments and remission times with this protocol average around 4-6 months, but we would prefer to administer the CCNU as a rescue agent if Ash fails the other protocols. Approximately 80% of patients with lymphoma will respond to the chemotherapy protocol. However, remission times vary depending on the patient and the overall stage of their disease. With prednisone steroid alone, the prognosis is only 1-2 months on average

Lymphoma, Feline

Lymphoma is a cancer that arises from lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. The most common site of lymphoma in cats is the gastrointestinal tract and is most commonly the small cell lymphocytic type. Cats generally tolerate chemotherapy very well and often have minimal to no side effects. Cats with small cell lymphoma may attain remission times of 1-2 years, but each patient’s response time may vary. Cats with the more aggressive lymphoma (intermediate/large cell type) have remission times of ~6-8 months.

Chlorambucil chemotherapy and prednisolone steroid) as prescribed. This chemotherapy regimen consists of administering an oral chemotherapeutic chlorambucil (Leukeran) 2 mg orally every 3 days continuously with prednisolone 5 mg orally daily. Side effects with this form of chemotherapy are very rare and may consist of mild anorexia, vomiting, or soft stools. If side effects are noted, then we will increase the dosing interval to every 3 days.

Lung Tumors, Canine

Primary lung tumors are an uncommon type of cancer in dogs, which account for less than 1% of all tumors. The median age at the time of diagnosis is between 11-12 years of age. In dogs, the rate of metastasis correlates with the type of tumor. Pulmonary adenocarcinomas tend to have a better prognosis than tumors with squamous differentiation or squamous cell carcinoma. Pulmonary adenocarcinomas have a 50% metastatic rate with the most common site of metastasis being the tracheobronchial lymph nodes or other sites within the thoracic cavity. Median survival times are typically less for dogs with primary lung tumors and tracheobronchial lymph node involvement. Other prognostic indicators involve histologic score based upon biopsy of the mass and detection of clinical signs at the time of diagnosis. Patients with well-differentiated adenocarcinomas and patients that are asymptomatic have improved survival times. In one study, another prognostic indicator was tumor size with tumors less than 3 cm having improved survival times compared to dogs having tumors greater than 5 cm. When possible, surgical removal of the lung mass is recommended if the tumor is solitary and there are no obvious lymph node metastases. A CT scan is often recommended prior to surgery to evaluate for evidence of additional masses, tumor spread, and to determine if the mass is amenable to surgery. Chemotherapy may be administered to help slow down the progression of the disease and slow down the development of tumor spread.

Mammary Tumors, Canine

Benign mammary tumors in dogs, not malignant tumors, have been linked to the female reproductive hormone, progesterone. Spaying a female prior to 2-1/2 years significantly decreases risk for both benign and malignant mammary tumors. Spaying after this time reduces risk for benign tumors but appears to have no advantage for prevention of malignant tumors. Recent reports have identified activation of a specific oncogene in a number of canine mammary tumors. Aggressive malignant tumors may metastasize and spread to the surrounding lymph nodes or to the lungs. Benign tumors are often surgically removed. In cases with malignant tumors, the patients should be staged (evaluated for metastasis). Dogs with small (less than about 1 inch diameter) adenocarcinomas with no evidence of metastasis may be treated effectively with surgery alone. Dogs with large or invasive tumors, intermediate to high histologic grade, sarcomas (tumors of mesenchymal origin), lymph node involvement and/or other sites of spread are at risk for both recurrence of the original tumor and metastasis. Intravenous chemotherapy, most commonly doxorubicin (aka Adriamycin) is often administered every 3 weeks for at least 5-6 treatments in patients with more aggressive malignant tumors or in cases with evidence of metastatic disease spread.

Mammary Tumors, Feline

Mammary tumors are one of the more common tumors in cats. These tumors are most commonly noted in female cats that are not spayed or in cats spayed later in life. Malignant mammary tumors account for approximately 85% of mammary tumors in cats and are most commonly adenocarcinomas. Benign tumors are less common and are most commonly due to dysplasia or adenomas. The most important factors associated with mammary cancer in cats are the size of the tumor, the extent of the surgery used to control the cancer, and the histologic grade. Cats with larger tumors (> 3 cm), cats treated with lumpectomies and regional mastectomies, and cats with tumors showing high characteristics of malignancy tend to have shorter survival times and increased risk of cancer spread than cats with smaller tumors, lower characteristics of malignancy, and cats treated with more aggressive surgical resection. Chemotherapy may be used as an adjuvant treatment following surgery or as an option in cases where surgery may not be a feasible option.

Mast Cell Tumors, Canine

Mast cells are normal cells found within the body. These cells normally function as part of the immune system. Mast cells are found within the tissues of the skin, respiratory, or intestinal tract. The mast cell possesses granules that contain various chemicals. There are binding sites on the surface of the cell for an antibody called IgE. IgE is produced in response to exposure to antigens contained by parasites. When an antigen comes by and attaches to the IgE, the mast cell degranulates and releases its toxic biochemicals that harm the parasite, but also signal other immune cells. Antigens, other than those associated with parasites, can also stimulate the mast cells. Pollen can also stimulate the mast cell biochemicals producing redness, itch, swelling, and symptoms associated with an allergic reaction. A mast cell tumor is made of many mast cells. The cells within the tumor are very unstable when they form. This instability results in the release of their toxic granules by simply contacting or touching the tumor. Mast cell tumors can be quite invasive and difficult to treat at times. These tumors may bleed or appear inflamed due to the presence of histamine and heparin (anti-coagulant) within the cells. They commonly increase and decrease in size from day to day. Treatment options vary according to the grade of the tumor, as well as a variety of other factors and may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and Palladia receptor-targeted therapy.

Mediastinal Tumors, Canine/Feline

Thymoma is an uncommon canine and feline neoplasm of thymic epithelial cells. It is seen in various breeds but may occur more frequently in Labrador Retriever and German Shepherd Dogs. Middle-aged or older dogs (average age of 11 years) can be affected and no sex predilection exists. Affected cats are usually older than 9 years of age. A paraneoplastic syndrome of myasthenia gravis, nonthymic malignant tumors, and/or polymyositis occurs in a significant number of dogs with thymoma. Clinical signs are variable and are related to a space-occupying cranial mediastinal mass and/or manifestations of the paraneoplastic syndrome. Dyspnea is the most common presenting clinical sign. Thoracic radiographs usually show a cranial mediastinal mass. Lymphoma is the main differential diagnosis. A definitive diagnosis may be made by fine needle aspiration of the mass under ultrasound guidance or closed biopsy, but is more likely to be confirmed by thoracotomy. Thymomas may be completely contained within the thymic capsule or may spread by local invasion or metastasis. A staging system allows for an accurate prognosis and a therapeutic plan. Surgical removal of encapsulated thymomas may result in long-term survival. Invasive or metastatic thymomas carry a guarded prognosis. Manifestations of the paraneoplastic syndrome complicate treatment. Adjuvant radiation and chemotherapy may be of value for advanced cases; however, adequate clinical trials have not been done in the dog or cat. Most dogs and cats with a cranial mediastinal mass will present with signs of dyspnea, coughing, and/or exercise intolerance. Other signs may include regurgitation, vomiting, or gagging secondary to esophageal compression or paraneoplastic myasthenia gravis. Generalized myasthenia gravis may also occur with a primary complaint by the owner of recurrent weakness or collapse. Precaval syndrome (swelling of the head, neck, and/or thoracic limbs) is possible if the mediastinal mass causes compression of or invades the cranial vena cava. On physical examination, if the cranial mediastinal mass is extremely large, muffled lung sounds will be noted. While most cranial mediastinal masses are usually thymoma or lymphosarcoma, other causes may include ectopic thyroid tissue, branchial cyst, chemodectoma, or thoracic wall tumor. Fluid within the cranial mediastinum (transudate, exudate, hemorrhage) can occasionally mimic a mediastinal mass.

Malignant Melanoma, Canine

Malignant melanoma is one of the most common canine oral tumors. However, other locations, including the digits, eyelids, skin, etc. may be affected. Dogs of all breeds and sizes can be affected, but those with heavily pigmented oral mucosa, such as Chows, may be at an increased risk for developing melanoma. The most common sites of metastasis are regional lymph nodes (60-80%) and lungs (50-60%), and metastasis at the time of diagnosis is associated with a poorer overall prognosis. Occasionally, metastasis can occur at distant sites (lungs, liver) without evidence of spread to the regional lymph nodes (termed "skip metastasis). Recommended staging includes blood work, three-view thoracic radiographs, abdominal ultrasound, and aspirates of both mandibular nodes regardless of lymph node size. Additional imaging with high-detail dental radiographs or advanced imaging (CT-scan) may be warranted and will aid in surgical planning as well as evaluation of other regional lymph nodes (e.g. retropharyngeal). Surgical removal is the primary method of treatment for local control. Aggressive surgery is associated with a better prognosis than conservative surgery, and lymph nodes positive for metastasis should be resected as well. Surgery alone is inadequate as most dogs will succumb to metastatic disease. Addition of chemotherapy (carboplatin) after surgery may extend the survival time. Chemotherapy alone provides less than a 30% response rate. Coarse-fractionated radiation therapy can also achieve local control (6-8 months). Aggressive surgery with the melanoma vaccine is an option in patients for microscopic disease control. The addition of a DNA tyrosinase vaccine (melanoma vaccine) has yielded improved survival times over traditional treatments, particularly in dogs with local disease control. This option is usually combined with either surgery or radiation therapy. As a group, dogs with stage I-III have a median survival time of 323 days. Negative prognostic factors include size (≥2 cm), lymphatic and/or vascular invasion, high mitotic index (≥3 per 10 hpf), and evidence and metastatic disease.

Osteosarcoma, Canine

The most common bone cancer of dogs is osteosarcoma. There are other tumors that can involve the bones with lesser consideration for fungal/bacterial infections (although this is highly unlikely). Other tumor types include chondrosarcoma and metastatic disease from another primary tumor. Osteosarcoma is locally invasive and has a high rate of spreading. There is a greater than 90% chance that the tumor has spread to the lungs at the time of diagnosis even if the chest x-rays do not reveal any obvious nodules. This is due to the presence of micrometastasis or microscopic disease that cannot be visualized on radiographs. There is an approximately 10-20% chance that the tumor could spread to bone or a different location. Fine needle aspirate cytology samples have been shown to be comparable to bone biopsy for diagnosing osteosarcoma. Cytology is less invasive and there is a reduced risk of causing a pathologic fracture compared to a bone biopsy. Amputation and chemotherapy are the standard treatments for osteosarcoma involving the limb. The primary goal for treating bone tumors is local pain control as well as potentially slowing down the development of metastatic disease spread, primarily to the lungs with chemotherapy. The bisphosphonate (zoledronate) may be used to help slow down the bone breakdown/rebuild the damaged bone to help control his pain.

Parathyroid Tumors, Canine

Parathyroid carcinomas account for less than 2% of parathyroid tumors in dogs. They are locally invasive and have a low likelihood of metastasizing. Approximately 20-30% of dogs will develop metastatic disease at some point. The most common locations for tumor spread are lungs and regional lymph nodes. The tumor may recur locally and may involve both of the parathyroid glands. Many of these tumors are functional, resulting in hypercalcemia. Surgical removal is the recommended treatment if possible.

Prostate Tumors, Canine

Prostate cancer is often initially suspected on abdominal ultrasound in middle to older patients with urinary signs of straining and occasionally issues passing stools due to sublumbar lymph node enlargement. Changes noted on ultrasound of the prostate including the nodules, mineralization, and generalized prostate enlargement may be indicative of prostatic neoplasia (cancer). An ultrasound-guided FNA cytology or biopsy may help determine a diagnosis. Common locations for tumor spread include sublumbar lymph nodes under the spine and the pelvic/vertebral bones. Mitoxantrone chemotherapy is administered intravenously every 3 weeks. Carboplatin is another chemotherapeutic administered intravenously every 3 weeks. The recommended treatment for prostatic carcinoma involves non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (piroxicam, rimadyl, etc) and systemic chemotherapy. The prognosis without chemotherapy or NSAIDS is typically less than 1-2 months and the prognosis with therapy is approximately 6-8 months or less in patients with prostate carcinoma if the patient responds. Surgery is not recommended due to the high morbidity rate since the prostate in dogs wraps around the entire urethra and since prostatic carcinomas tend to metastasize or spread. Radiation to the prostate has a high risk of side effects and the possibility of strictures/scarring is very high. Radiation is primarily used if there are bone lesions to help with pain control. Urethral stenting is a palliative treatment and may only help 1-2 months in the event the patient can no longer urinate due to urethral blockage or lymph node compression.

Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Canine

Soft tissue sarcomas are a class of tumors, which have various subtypes including peripheral nerve sheath tumors, spindle cell tumors, hemangiopericytoma, peripheral nerve sheath tumor, myxosarcoma, and fibrosarcoma. Soft tissue sarcomas are locally invasive and have the potential to metastasize or spread to other locations in the body, most commonly the lungs. A histologic grading scheme has been developed which helps predict whether a tumor may be more likely to spread. The tumor grade is determined based upon a surgical biopsy of the tumor. Low to moderate grade soft tissue sarcomas have a low metastatic rate at 8-20%, but high grade tumors have a greater potential for tumor spread at 41-50%. Staging tests are often recommended prior to starting therapy, including chest x-rays and abdominal ultrasound, to evaluate for any additional new findings or evidence of tumor spread. Treatment options most often include: surgical removal of the mass when possible, surgical removal with follow-up definitive radiation therapy, high dose chemotherapy, or low-dose oral chemotherapy.

Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Feline

Soft tissue sarcomas in cats are generally slow to metastasize. However, these tumors are locally invasive and will often recur if aggressive surgical resection is not performed. The best chance for tumor control is at the time of the first surgery. The metastatic rate or likelihood of tumor spread is low, but may be as high as 25% later in the course of the disease. The most common sites for disease spread include the lungs and regional lymph nodes. Surgery is often recommended if the disease is localized most aggressive approach would be surgical resection with follow-up radiation therapy. In patients with aggressive surgical removal with clean, tumor-free margins, the median disease free interval and survival times were greater than 16 months. If surgical margins are narrow or incomplete, there is a very high likelihood for tumor recurrence if additional follow-up therapy is not pursued. If follow-up radiation therapy is pursued then the disease free interval is 2-2 ½ years.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Canine

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) comprises 17-25% of oral tumors seen in the dog and is generally very locally invasive with approximately 10-30% cases developing metastatic disease. It is often seen in older (8-10 years), large breed dogs and no sex predisposition has been reported. Prognostic factors include location of the tumor and size of the tumor at surgical removal. Tumor location is prognostic in dogs with SCC with evidence of tumor in the tonsils or caudal tongue having a poorer prognosis and increased risk of metastasis. Bone involvement with canine SCC is frequently detected. SCC of the maxilla (upper jaw) or mandible (lower jaw) in dogs is typically a locally invasive disease with a low metastatic rate. Approximately 10% of dogs will have metastasis to regional lymph nodes and approximately 3-36% will have spread to the lungs so continued monitoring with chest x-rays every 2-3 months is warranted. The treatment of choice SCC of the oral cavity is surgical excision of the affected portion of the jaw (maxillectomy or mandibulectomy). Prognostic factors include location of the tumor and size of the tumor at surgical removal. Dogs with tumors less than 2 cm have median survival times of greater than 68 months overall when treated with surgery with wide margins. Previous studies have shown that if the tumor is 2-4 cm, the median survival is approximately 28 months and if the tumor is greater than 4 cm survival times were around 8 months. Radiation may also be used as a local therapy. Patients with metastasis or disease spread can be treated with a cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor, piroxicam, or a combination of piroxicam and carboplatin chemotherapy. Patients treated with piroxicam alone have been shown to have a response rate of 17% and a progression free interval of 180 days. When piroxicam is combined with carboplatin chemotherapy, the response rate increases to 57% and the progression free interval is approximately 335 days. However, Carboplatin and Piroxicam can have effects on the kidneys so continued bloodwork and follow-up is always warranted in these cases.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Feline

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most common malignant oral tumor in cats. This tumor type is typically a locally invasive disease with a low metastatic rate so treatment is often aimed at controlling the local disease. If the tumor is small or towards the front of the oral cavity, then surgery can be considered. In patients with large tumors toward the back of the oral cavity, surgery has been shown to be associated with increased clinical signs and does not improve survival times when used as a primary treatment for cats with oral tumors in this location. However, surgery can be combined with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, anti-inflammatory medication (piroxicam), and supportive care (including pain medication, feeding tubes, etc.) in order to improve response durations. Bisphosphonates, including zoledronate, may be administered if there is bone involvement to help strengthen bone and decrease bony breakdown, thereby helping with pain. Radiation therapy may also be used as a single agent treatment modality, but in most cases treatment is multi-modality or in combination with other therapies. A CT scan or MRI may be necessary to better evaluate the extent of the tumor, for treatment planning, and to determine the best treatment options for you and your pet.

ONCOLOGY SECTION


Tumor Types

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