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Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Susan Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide
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Cancer Blood Testing in Future for Pets?

A new test is being developed in human medicine which allows for breast and a type of lung cancer testing with a blood sample. This exciting development may be a sentinel for testing in pets that is so needed.  Dog cancer is now the number one killer of dogs in the US, and early intervention…

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Beyond Mast Cell Tumor Grade: Other Prognostic Factors

In my last blog on mast cell tumor (MCT) grade, I discussed that grade is one of the most important prognostic factors, or predictors, for dogs with MCT. And I also discussed the challenges of using the grade as a predictor: a good percentage of grade 2 MCT behave more aggressively than the rest of…

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Beta Glucan-containing mushrooms in the news again!

Beta glucans are back in the media, this time is the form of a new mushroom extract. This of course will not be surprising to our regular readers or anyone who has read The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, since the use of these compounds are part of the full-spectrum approach to canine cancer.  This approach…

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All about Mast Cell Tumor Grade

Knowing the grade of your dog’s mast cell tumor (MCT) is important, because the grade tells us a lot about how serious a case your dog has, and what the likely prognosis or outcome will be. Tumor grade cannot be discovered via aspirate. MCT grade is determined by a boarded pathologist at a lab, who…

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The oncologist’s thoughts on what to do after the aspirate confirms mast cell tumor?

In my recent blog, we discussed the aspirate that confirmed the diagnosis of mast cell tumor (MCT.) Now there is a decision to make, should you have your dog staged to make sure the MCT has not spread, or should you proceed to surgery to remove the tumor and find out the grade? Remember what…

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Diagnosing mast cell tumors

When should you see an oncologist for a mast cell tumor (MCT)? I recommend you get an oncologist involved early. But before you see me, you need to know what a MCT looks like, and how they are diagnosed. Most dogs are not feeling or acting sick when they are diagnosed with MCT. Usually the…

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CyberKnife RadioSurgery in Pets

If you have been following me on Facebook at Dr. Sue Cancer Vet, you know that last week I was lecturing with what I call “ASC Team CyberKnife.” This team includes radiation oncologist Dr. Sarah Charney, neurologists Drs. Rick Joseph and Jason Berg, and me, the medical oncologist.  We manage all the CyberKnife patients that…

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What’s new with oral malignant melanoma? Part Two

If you read part one, you remember I was all excited after a recent weekend meeting in New York City on the topic or oral malignant melanoma. As discussed in my chapter in the Dog Cancer Survival Guide, oral melanoma is the most common tumor in the mouth of dogs, accounting for 30-40%. It is…

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The Oncologist’s Perspective on Statistics: Part Two

In last week’s post, Statistics Part One, I discussed why statistics can be very helpful to the pet Guardian. And while stats are an important part on oncology, my years in practice highlight their limitations. So before we dive into some common statistical terms (in my next blog), I think it is important to remember…

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Can Needle Biopsy Spread Cancer?

Can needle biopsy spread cancer? As always when it comes to dog cancer, there is no “one right answer.” Dr. Dressler, DVM goes over the facts.

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Not All Soft Lumps are Lipomas!

Many times dog lovers will be told that their dog’s soft lump is a fatty tumor, and is no problem.  The veterinarian is usually thinking about lipomas, benign tumors made of fat that may be genetic in dogs. This information is not always correct, and sometimes the mistake is life threatening.  Although it is true…

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Incidentalomas: when you find a cancer you were not looking for

Recently, there was an article that caught my attention in the New York Times. In A Tumor is No Clearer in Hindsight, Denise Grady wrote about whether Steve Jobs had made the right decision to wait 9 months to go to surgery after finding out he had a type of pancreatic cancer. The article goes…

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Can a Dog Cancer Diagnosis Be Wrong?

The news that a loved dog has cancer turns the world upside-down. Shock, dismay, disorientation, anger, and profound feelings of loss or sadness are common.  Another common response is questioning the diagnosis. “My dog seems fine.  The lump does not seem to bother her.  His appetite is good.  She still plays.  How can he have…

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Lymphoma – what you need to know BEFORE you see the oncologist

In my last blog post on lymphoma, I shared that I would personally treat my dog with a multi-agent chemotherapy protocol if she was diagnosed with lymphoma.  You will learn a lot about diagnostics and treatment options once you meet an oncologist, so in this blog post, I will share some of the things you…

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How to Get A Diagnosis Before Surgery

There are several different ways of finding out if a lump is a cancer.  Each involves having some of the growth tested, but which is best? There are several ways to collect a sample.  Often a biopsy is done.  A biopsy involves collecting a piece of the growth for analysis.  Sometimes the growth is removed…

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When Infection Looks Like Cancer

Many times cancer can be misdiagnosed as infection in dogs. How does this happen?  Cancer diagnosis is not as strait forward as it may seem. The reason for this is that we do not always have a simple test for internal cancers.  The standard of care in testing for cancer is a biopsy.  To get…

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Carcinoma of the Anal Gland

One of the less common cancers is carcinoma of the anal gland. Carcinoma of the anal gland occurs on the rear end of dogs, and are found on the anus, in it, or on the edge where the haired skin starts.  Sometimes they can be found only by doing a rectal exam, which is a…

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My Homeopathic Vet and Cancer

A reader of this blog asked a provocative question with a few different parts. Let’s look at it more closely to help all the guardians dealing with a dog cancer diagnosis. First, he wrote that his Golden Retriever (the number one breed for canine cancer now) is diagnosed with cancer. Next, he wrote that the…

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My Homeopathic Veterinarian and Dog Cancer

A reader of this blog asked a provocative question with a few different parts. Let’s look at it more closely to help all the guardians dealing with a dog cancer diagnosis. First, he wrote that his Golden Retriever (the number one breed for canine cancer now) is diagnosed with cancer. Next, he wrote that the…

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A Useful Discussion for Dogs With Cancer

I received a question recently that involves a common situation for guardians coping with a dog cancer diagnosis. So, to benefit everyone, I am including my answers here, in the hopes that you can apply the information to how you manage your dog with cancer. This case is Almond, who is a 10 year female…

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An Overview of What Else Can I Do?

The most common question I receive is: My dog has cancer.  What else can I do? Well, this is a very short question that needs a very long answer. I will do my best to give the big categories here. First, get the data you need.  A real guardian needs information to make aware decisions. …

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Mast Cell Tumor Internal Spread

It is important to tell whether or not a dog tumor has spread internally. This question is not only very frightening for a dog lover, but also has some real medical ramifications.  So let’s take some time with this concept and mast cell tumors. Mast cell tumors are very common in dogs.  They come in…

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A Dog With Bone Cancer

I couple of months back, I diagnosed a bone tumor in a wonderful dog named Dolly. Dolly is one of the world’s happiest dogs.  She is an elderly family member (she would not be happy if I told you her age).  She is a Boxer. As many are aware, Boxers are one of the breeds…

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Clinical Trial Enrollment Available

A distressing part of dealing with dog cancer is data on the current standard of care in veterinary medicine for our dogs with this disease. Conventional veterinary care includes chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, with a little emphasis on diet.  The problem we are facing is that most people are a bit surprised at what we…

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Help! Found A Lump On The Dog… Now What?

Dr. Demian Dressler, best-selling author of “The Dog Cancer Survival Guide”, explains exactly what to do when you find a lump on your dog.

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Treatment Plan Analysis in Real Life

Yesterday, a 13 year old Rottweiler came in to the hospital. She had been limping, and there was a swelling in her front leg, down on the forearm.  It was firm and slightly warm to the touch.  The area was about 4 inches long. We took X-rays of the sore leg.  The films showed a…

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Diagnosis of Nasal Tumors

Tumors of the nose and sinus in dogs are often difficult to diagnose at first. These tumors are located inside the nasal passages, invisible to the naked eye, at least in the earlier stages. Many times a guardian will notice that their four legged family member starts to sneeze more often.  The first thought can…

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Signs of Dog Cancer and Decompensation

People are often stunned to find out their dog has cancer. Why? Because cancer seems to hit out of the blue. I often hear “but he’s been fine until the last couple days!” In this article, I’m going to take just a minute to explain why “cancer” seems to happen overnight. (Hint: it’s because of…

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When to Avoid Chemo for Canine Mast Cell Tumors?

There has been much online talk these days about dogs with mast cell tumors (read, Palladia) which are the most common canine cancer. So I thought I’d just add some fuel to the fire and give my readers some overall guidelines about mast cell tumors and chemotherapy. As many already know, these cancers come in…

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More Ideas For Bone Cancer Pain: Pamidronate

I have been getting questions about control of pain for bone cancer in dogs, so I thought this might be a useful post.  Life quality is central in any type of cancer treatment plan, and therefore pain control is critical. Osteosarcoma is the number one cancer affecting bone in dogs.  It usually affects large or…

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