Lymphangiosarcoma in Dogs
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
My 6 year old Dalmatian was just diagnosed with cancer. The good news is that what we originally thought was an osteosarcoma turned out to be a soft tissue tumor on the leg (ankle joint). They called this a Lymphangiosarcoma. I caught this early and amputation is the recommended course of treatment. I feel like this is the direction to take. Am I crazy? I know you can't make this decision for me but any information you can give would be greatly appreciated.
Lili Duda, VMD, Editor of the OncoLink Veterinary Oncology Section, responds:
Lymphangiosarcomas are rare tumors in dogs. Since it is an uncommon tumor, you may want to consider getting a second opinion on the biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.
There is relatively little published information about these tumors. However, they might have a similar behavior to hemangiosarcomas, which are common high-grade (i.e., aggressive) sarcomas found in dogs. These tumors have the potential for widespread metastasis to the lung, liver, and spleen. A thorough staging evaluation is recommended prior to pursuing a treatment course. This would include abdominal ultrasound, chest X-rays, CBC and blood chemistries.
If there is no detectable evidence of metastasis (spread of the tumor) then completely removing the primary tumor followed by a standard chemotherapy protocol for hemangiosarcoma is a reasonable treatment option. Again, because lymphangiosarcomas are rare in dogs, there is little known about prognosis and benefits of treatment. However, assuming a similarity to hemangiosarcoma, the prognosis must be guarded.
If metastasis is present, any treatment is considered palliative. Radiation may help control symptoms at the primary tumor site; chemotherapy may help slow progression of the disease.
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.
OncoLink is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through OncoLink should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem or have questions or concerns about the medication that you have been prescribed, you should consult your health care provider.
Information Provided By: www.oncolink.org | © 2016 Trustees of The University of Pennsylvania