Lump removal and Cancer surgery
- Lump removals are one of the most common reasons for surgery in all animals.
- Fine Needle Aspirate (FNA) samples and in some cases biopsy are vital to help determine the type of lump and best treatment options.
- Early diagnosis and treatment gives the best chance of cure.
Finding a growth is one of the most worrying things for pet owners. Is my pet in pain? Can it be fixed? What if it is cancer? These questions and many more run through our heads and cause a lot of worry.
The good news is that over 90% of all lumps can be “cured” with appropriate surgical treatment. The keys to successful treatment are fairly simple:
- Early detection. This starts with checking your pet for lumps regularly and getting them checked straight away. Even very small lumps are relatively easily felt during normal patting of dogs and cats. Whilst some skin lumps can be due to allergic reactions or insect bites these will generally disappear within a few days of noticing them. A lump that has been present for more than a week should be checked immediately by a veterinarian.
- Accurate diagnosis. Knowing what type of lump is crucial in deciding how aggressive we need to be in treatment. It is almost impossible to just look at a lump and know what it is so we will usually take samples either with a needle and syringe or via a biopsy punch to get an accurate diagnosis.
- Appropriate treatment. The old saying “a chance to cut is a chance to cure” is never more accurate than when dealing with lumps. Even aggressive cancerous lumps can be cured in a majority of cases with appropriate surgical treatment. They key to surgery is removing all of the cancer so that it does not recur. The smaller the lump the easier this is.
The focus of treatment is complete surgical removal. Whilst healing of the surgery is important it is always secondary to getting the lump out. Our best chance of getting a lump out is the first surgery. Once we know we have got all of the lump then we can focus on healing the surgery site and performing any reconstructive procedures as necessary. Generally most of the time that happens at the same surgery, however in some cases we will deliberately delay definitive reconstruction until we know for sure we have removed the entire lump, particularly if we know it is an aggressive cancer.
Kate has extensive experience and advanced surgical training in reconstructive surgery. Her surgical cure rate even for very large and apparently inoperable lumps is over 90%. Please feel free to give us a call and have a chat to her if your pet needs surgery to remove a lump.