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Cancer in pot-bellied pigs

Cancer in pot-bellied pigs

Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

Can you please tell me what different types of cancer a pot-bellied pig can get? Besides surgery, what are some of the treatments?  


Answer

Lili Duda, VMD, Section Editor of the OncoLink Veterinary Oncology Menu, responds:

Cancer in the pig is very rare. Melanoma has been reported to be a hereditary tumor in the Duroc pig, and many pot-bellied pigs in this country have some Duroc in their bloodline. About 50% of these skin tumors have been reported to spread elsewhere in the body. Treatment of the skin tumor involves complete surgical removal (the biopsy margins should be evaluated to insure that no tumor cells were left behind), but there is no treatment for these tumors once they spread elsewhere. There is nothing in the veterinary literature about other tumor types in the pot-bellied pig. Treatment would be based on a biopsy-confirmed diagnosis and extrapolated from other species. In general, surgery is the recommended treatment for tumors whenever possible.