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.
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Randhurst Animal Hospital
212 East Rand Rd., Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
Veterinarians serving Mt Prospect, Des Plaines, Arlington Heights, Northbrook, Glenview, Morton Grove, Rolling Meadows, Wheeling, Prospect Heights, Palatine and surrounding areas
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