Finding a lump on your pet can be one of the most stressful discoveries for a much loved companion. While the majority of lumps turn out to be benign, no lump - no matter how small - should ever be ignored. The sooner action is taken, the less chance there is for a cancer to spread and the easier it is to remove whilst it is small. You should NEVER take a “wait and see” attitude in regard to lumps.
The most important first step is to get a diagnosis as to what the tumour actually is. Different types of tumours behave in different ways - some tumours and cysts are very obvious and easy to identify but others will need to have samples taken and for these to be examined under a microscope. This can sometimes be done in our clinic with a fine needle used to harvest some cells but often a biopsy sample needs to be sent off to a lab for definitive diagnosis.
Treatent can mean surgery to remove the offending lump and, in the majority of cases, this is curative. It may also mean the use of drugs to kill off the tumour if it has spread to other places in the body or if surgery has not been able to remove all of the lump. This is called chemotherapy.
Most people have known friends or family who have had chemotherapy and for whom it has been very debilitating. Animals,fortunately, tolerate chemotherapy much better than people. They do not lose their hair and are generally very bright and happy throughout their treatment. These pets are treated as out-patients and do not require hospitalisation. The most stressful part for most animals is getting blood samples taken.