Dr. Kim Freeman, DACVIM Oncology
I just got good news! The surgeon was able to remove the whole tumor that was growing on Happy’s neck. Happy is a super cute and appropriately named 6 year old miniature Schnauzer. We didn’t think it would be possible to remove the tumor and had prepared for the worst case scenario. He had a pretty good sized tumor in a bad location. We thought Happy would need radiation therapy after surgery and possibly even chemotherapy. Happy’s people found a lump on his neck only a few weeks ago. They took him to their vet right away. And good thing they did! Their vet did a needle biopsy and diagnosed thyroid carcinoma. Happy came to me for treatment planning. We did chest xrays, which were normal, telling us there was no evidence that his cancer had started to spread. Then, Happy went to the surgeon. The surgeon was able to remove the entire tumor. The best news was that it was a low grade tumor that was not invading the surrounding tissue and had not started to spread to the lymph or blood system. This means that Happy does not need radiation therapy or chemotherapy! It means that he should have a good long term prognosis! Often it is difficult to remove thyroid tumors if they are left to grow for long periods of time. Early detection and treatment is key. Often radiation therapy is needed after surgery to prevent the tumor from growing back. And some patients require chemotherapy due to evidence that their thyroid cancer has started to spread. Happy gets to continue to spend great quality time with his 94 year old human companion and friends! I’m so glad his tumor was addressed quickly. You can be an advocate for your pet with early detection. Check out our previous blog posts (part 1 and part 2) on ways to be proactive!