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Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Susan Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

Fine Needle Aspirate Definition

Fine Needle Aspirate: This is an initial screening procedure which vets use to test a tumor or other site in the body for malignant cells. A skinny needle is inserted into the site, which draws up a small sample of the cells and fluids inside the tumor. The sample can – in many cases – confirm the presence and type of cancer. Fine needle aspirates cannot be used to grade a cancer, and their results can sometimes be inconclusive. This type of aspirate can also be used to sample lymph nodes, the liver, the spleen, the kidney, or other sites. This procedure typically does not require sedation or anesthesia and is often relatively inexpensive.

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