Cancer is a serious illness. It affects many dog owners. There are many terms to understand while you are trying to deal with the onset of the disease. Below is a small glossary to act as a guide. It will clarify some of the basic terms and terminology used when talking about or describing cancer. First, however, it is best to define exactly what this disease is and does.
Cancer is an abnormal or mutant growth of cells. This takes place within the body. It may concentrate in 1 specific area and/or spread throughout the dog’s body. Cancer differs from other cells in its lack of response to the normal control mechanisms exerted within the physical entity of the animal. Cancer reproduces at a rapid rate. It can take over an organ and spread rapidly throughout the entire cavity.
There are different major types of cancer. These include skin tumors, skin cancer and mouth cancer. There are also osteosarcoma, lymphoma and hemangiosarcomas. None are curable. Treatment is variable. It may include chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Benign - This is a term used to describe a cancerous growth. It is slow growing, unlikely to spread and not likely to affect the health of the canine.
Hemangiosarcoma - This a malignant cancer. It is imbedded in the connective tissues that form blood vessels, heart, liver, spleen and skin. The prognosis for this type of cancer is very poor.
Lymphoma - This is a malignant cancer of the lymphatic system. Lymph nodes help to filter out any foreign object sending it to be destroyed by the immune system. The prognosis varies. Chemotherapy has proven to be effective.
Malignant - This is the opposite of benign. A malignant cancer is one is invasive.
Mas Cell - These are cells normally occurring in the body, particularly the skin and certain tissues.
Mammary Carcinoma - A type of malignant cancer tumor in the mammary. It may be removed through surgery. This type is often avoidable through spaying.
Mast Cells Tumors - A mast cell tumor is a mass of cancerous mast cells. The mast cell may or may not be malignant. It may affect the skin or other organs. On the skin, where it is more commonly found, it tends to be benign. Malignant mast cell tumors may be treated with radiation therapy. Surgery may also be necessary.
Melanoma - This is skin cancer. It affects only the cells that produce malanin, a pigment responsible for protecting your skin. Melanoma can be either benign or malignant. Generally skin melanoma is benign, but mouth melanoma is malignant. Surgery can remove the tumors, but they frequently recur.
Metastasize - This is a word to describe the spreading of the cancer to other regions of the body.
Osteosarcoma - This is a malignant, aggressive cancer tumor affecting the bone. It is probably the most common type of bone cancer found in dogs. This type of cancer tends to affect front or hind legs. Chemotherapy and/or surgery is the usual treatment.
Testicular Tumors - These are found in the testes or testicles of a male dog.
Tumor - A tumor is a growing mass of cancer cells. It can be either benign or malignant.