Types of Cancer and Treatment

Below we discuss some of the more common veterinary oncology cases treated in our facilities.  In addition to a description of the type of cancer and what causes it, the links below have information on  diagnosis, various types of treatment available, prognosis and steps to prevent each type of cancer, if applicable.

Mast cell tumors are among the most commonly reported canine skin tumors.

An injection-site sarcoma is a tumor of the connective tissues in the cat.  Tumors are often located between the shoulder blades, in the hip region, and in the back legs.

Lymphoma is a cancer of white blood cells, which circulate through the blood and the lymphatic system. In dogs, lymphoma is a rapidly progressive disease that, if left untreated, results in death within a relatively short time, usually a few weeks from the time of diagnosis.

It is thought that long-nosed breeds or dogs living in urban environments are at higher risk for the development of nasal tumors. Nasal tumors are seen less commonly in the cat.

Osteosarcoma is a malignant cancer of the bone.  Osteosarcoma most commonly affects one of the bones of the limbs such as the shoulder, carpus or wrist, and stifle or knee.  Occasionally, osteosarcoma can originate in the bones of the skull, ribs or spine.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most common oral malignancy in the cat, arising from either the jaw bones or the tongue. Squamous cell carcinoma is an aggressive cancer in the cat and is often not diagnosed until the tumor is advanced.

Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) is a malignant tumor of the cells that line blood vessels. It is much more common in dogs than other species. HSA occurs most frequently in large breed dogs, especially German shepherd dogs, Labrador retrievers, and Golden retrievers

Lung tumors are relatively rare in dogs, accounting for only 1 % of all cancers diagnosed. The average age at diagnosis is 10 years with no sex or breed predilection. Metastatic cancer to the lungs is much more common than primary lung cancer.

Soft tissue sarcomas are a group of malignant cancers that arise from the skin and subcutaneous connective tissues, such as fat (liposarcoma), muscle (rhabdomyosarcoma, leiomyosarcoma), cartilage (chondrosarcoma), fibrous connective tissue (fibrosarcoma), nerves (schwannoma, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, neurofibrosarcoma) and the “pericytes” of small blood vessels in the subcutis (hemangiopericytoma). These tumors are often considered collectively because of their similarity in clinical behavior.