Has your dog recently been diagnosed with mammary cancer? According to AbcNews.com, about half the mammary tumors that dogs develop are noncancerous. This is similar to the ratio of nonmalignant tumors women find in their breasts. However, pet tumors are often discovered later, when the cancer has reached a more advanced stage. This is why a tumor in a dog’s mammary tissue should be treated as soon as possible.
Removal of the Mammary Tumor
Pets that have mammary cancer typically follow a similar treatment and recovery process as people with breast cancer. Surgery is usually performed to remove the tumor and surrounding mammary gland. Some surgeons even opt to remove the entire mammary gland chain.
Further Treatment for Mammary Cancer in Dogs
After the tumor has been removed, it is identified to determine whether further treatment is necessary. Chemotherapy is a common choice for mammary cancer patients, along with surgical removal of the tumor. Chemo will help increase your dog’s chance of survival.
Chances of Survival in Dogs with Mammary Cancer
If your dog is diagnosed with cancer in the mammary tissue, the initial treatment might be successful, but the long-term outcome may be be guarded. You should still be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of mammary cancer in your dog. There is still a possibility that the tumor might reoccur.
Prevention is the Key
Of course, preventing mammary cancer in dogs is more effective than any sort of treatment. “It’s a fairly common cancer, especially in unspayed female dogs and cats,” said Gerald Post, a veterinary oncologist at the Veterinary Oncology and Hematology Center in Norwalk, Conn. This is why it is important to have your pet spayed before her first heat; with every heat cycle she goes through, her risk of developing mammary cancer increases.
If you suspect that your dog has a mammary tumor, or if she has been diagnosed with cancer of the breast tissue, surgery can be performed to remove the tumor. However, the outlook is not great for mammary cancer patients; in fact, cancer is the Number One cause of death in older pets. The sooner it is detected, the better your dog’s chances are for survival.
Dogs, Cats Not Immune to Breast Cancer, Abc.com
Mammary Tumors (Cancer) in Dogs, PetEducation.com
**Note: This author does not claim to be a veterinary professional, and this article is not intended to be used in place of professional medical advice. If your pet is displaying symptoms of a tumor or illness, please consult with your veterinary clinic immediately.