My veterinarian tested a lump on my dog

Question: 

My veterinarian tested a lump on my dog and told me it is a Mast Cell Tumor. What is the best way to treat this?

Answer: 

Mast cell tumors (MCT’s) are a common canine cancer. Mast cell tumors can arise anywhere on your dog’s body and vary widely in their size, shape, appearance and texture. It is important to know that ANY lump on your dog could be a MCT. It is essential to treat Mast Cell Tumors promptly and effectively. The first step is a thorough examination and diagnostic testing to determine the “grade” of your dog’s MCT and guide treatment recommendations. Once the grade of the MCT is classified, the tumor is removed surgically and the tumor is ‘staged’ to determine the degree to which it has spread (metastasis). Treatment recommendations depend on the overall health of your dog, tumor grade and stage, tumor location, surgical margins, and the presence or absence of metastasis (spread) of malignant mast cells throughout the body. Treatment for MCTs may involve surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy. Your veterinarian will evaluate all of these factors and consult with you regarding the most effective treatment options. Mast-cell tumors have no predictable pattern of growth behavior and response to treatment. The effectiveness of treatment depends on how advanced the disease is and whether your dog has other health-related issues. Your veterinarian’s goal is to maintain the best possible quality of life for your dog and you. Veterinarians who are Board-Certified in Oncology, Radiation Oncology or Internal Medicine are well versed in the diagnostic and treatment parameters necessary to ensure the best outcome for your pet’s specific circumstance.

In conjunction with your regualr veterinarian, a Board-Certified Veterinarian is the best choice of clinician to treat your dog. The ExpertVet specialty center nearest you, where you can consult with a Board-Certified Veterinarian about the best options for your dog is listed at the bottom of this page. For additional locations, click here.