Lili Duda, VMD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
My 11-year-old springer spaniel has been diagnosed with a tumor in his sinus. In his case, the vet said radiation therapy would only add about 5 months to his life. Can you give me some direction?
Lili Duda, VMD, Editor of the OncoLink Veterinary Oncology Section, responds:
For the average dog, radiation therapy (with or without surgery, depending on the particular situation) provides 1 to 1 1/2 years survival (the average means that half the treated dogs do the same or worse than this, and half do the same or better than this). There are certain features of each particular dog that would make an oncologist feel better or worse about this prognosis. In cases where the prognosis is not good, palliative radiation can provide some symptom-relief.
There are no alternative treatments reported in the medical literature for treatment of nasal tumors in dogs. If aggressive treatment is not an option for you, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs (such as prednisone) can improve many of a dog's symptoms by alleviating the swelling and infection that are often associated with these tumors.
If you or your veterinarian have not already done so, please consult a qualified veterinary oncologist to further explore the treatment options for your pet.