The scientific word for cancer is neoplasia, meaning new growth. In reality, it is an abnormal growth of cells that interferes with an organ’s ability to function, resulting in a degree of failure in that organ. Some of these abnormal cells break off from the organ and spread to other organs in the body. This process is called metastasis, and is the hallmark of malignant cancer.
Cancer it is not one disease, has many different causes, and can affect every organ. This makes it quite a challenge to diagnose and treat. Even though the cause is not known in many cases, we do know of major factors that predispose pets to getting cancer. You will learn about this on this page regarding squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in white cats that are exposed to the sun.
A major predisposing factor is dogs, cats and rabbits that are not neutered and spayed when they are young. Their chances of getting breast, testicular, and prostate cancer increase significantly when they are not altered at an early age. The following pages have detailed information on this:
We tend to see cancer more commonly in our geriatric patients.
This page has links to some of the more common cancer’s we see in animals. Click on any photo to enlarge it.