Cancer Terminology

Benign tumor

one lacking the properties of invasion and metastasis and showing a lesser degree of abnormal cellularity than do malignant tumors. These are usually surrounded by a fibrous capsule.

Bone Marrow

the removal and evaluation of bone marrow cells to determine if the cells are normal, if cancer has spread to the bone marrow or if there is a problem with blood cell production. This process is usually painless to the pet.


any malignant, cellular tumor; cancers are divided into two broad categories of carcinoma and sarcomas.


a malignant growth made up of epithelial cells tending to infiltrate surrounding tissues and gives rise to metastases (spreading).


a complete blood count evaluating the number and type of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets


the analysis of the blood that evaluates liver and kidney function, among other things

Chemotherapy is used to treat cancer at the tumor site, as well as the cancer that may have spread through the body. Most chemotherapeutic drugs act directly on cancer cells, preventing them from maturing or reproducing. Unlike humans, the side effects of chemotherapy in pets are relatively mild. Doses of drugs and treatment schedules are calculated to minimize discomfort to the pet, while providing the most effective defense against the cancer. As a result, most people are surprised at how well their pets feel while undergoing chemotherapy. The goal is to slow the growth of cancer cells, while producing minimal negative effects on normal cells. If your pet requires a plan of chemotherapy, your veterinarian will most likely bring in a specialist (an oncologist) to develop the plan of attack and administer the treatments. In addition to the latest and best medical treatments, an oncologist will provide the specialized equipment and supervision that your pet needs.

CT Scan

the evaluation of the body with high resolution x-rays that allows us to form a three dimensional (3D) picture of the body


evaluating cells on a microscope slide to determine if they are malignant or benign

Digital Radiograph

an x-ray machine that produces a digital image, so that it can be manipulated to enhance the evaluation of abnormalities


can refer to any kind of an abnormal increase in size of tissue


the use of special stains to determine the type of leukemia an animal has or to identify cells that cannot be identified under normal light microscopy


the use of special stains to determine the cell type; used most frequently to determine whether lymphocytes are T cells or B cells

Immunotherapy is the use of the body’s immune system to treat a disease. We use immunotherapy to treat certain cancers, such as, melanoma, hemangiosarcoma, renal cell carcinoma, multiple myeloma, and lymphoma among others.  There are various types of immunotherapy ranging from cancer vaccines to injecting cytokines (chemicals that stimulate the body’s own immune system). One of the advantages of immunotherapy is that it is generally less toxic than traditional chemotherapy.


can be a growth or fluid filled cyst or any structure rising above the normal surface of a tissue plane
Malignant tumor

has the properties of invasion and metastasis and displays cells with widely varying characteristics


spread throughout the body, of cancer cells

MRI Scan

the use of magnetic fields to evaluate the body, including the brain


an abnormal new growth of tissue in animals or plants; a tumor

Radiation Therapy
In veterinary medicine, radiation therapy was first attempted at the beginning of the twentieth century. During the last 50 years, tremendous advances have been made. The use of histopathology, MRI and CAT scans has resulted in accurate diagnosis of the type and location of tumors. In addition, new technology has increased the effectiveness and decreased the side effects and risks of radiation therapy.


a malignant tumor originating from connective tissue or blood or lymphatic tissues

Surgery is the oldest form of cancer therapy and has been responsible for the cure of more patients than any other treatment. This success is mainly due to the development of new surgical techniques combined with chemotherapy and radiation for a total plan of treatment for your pet’s cancer.


1.) a swelling; a cardinal sign of inflammation

2.) neoplasm: a new growth of tissue in which cell multiplication is uncontrolled and progressive

the non-invasive evaluation of the abdomen, internal organs, and heart through the use of sound waves