Thursday, January 20, 2011

Final Diagnosis: Hemangiosarcoma

Incision healing nicely, bruising gone
Dr. B called this morning and the pathology report is in.   I went in a few hours later and brought Laura with me so he could look at her incision. 

I had already prepared myself for the diagnosis so the results were not shocking.   While the results were not shocking, they were somewhat mixed and confusing.   From the pathology report:

"COMMENTS:  Only one of the four blocks contains a pattern consistent with a vascular neoplasm, and in that block the amount of neoplasm is quite small.  Therefore, I cannot make a definitive determination whether this is a splenic hemangioma or a splenic hemangiosarcoma.  Both of these tumors can rupture resulting in hematoma and hemoabdomen.  Although the neoplastic cells are not forming a stratified layer and I did not observe mitotic figures, I am leaning towards the diagnosis of malignancy as some of the cells are plump and have large nuclei."

FINAL DIAGNOSIS:  Hemangiosarcoma, spleen"

Now that we had a final diagnosis, Dr. B was willing to discuss options and next steps.   He immediately recommended chemotherapy since it appeared the cancer hadn't yet metastasized to her other organs and the result of her spleen biopsy was mixed.  Even though she is 10 years old, she has always been in perfect health and is a strong active dog.   When he told me the life expectancy with and without chemo, it was a no brainer.

Median survival time with surgery along:  19 to 65 days.
Median survival time with surgery plus chemotherapy:  145 to 178 days (mean survival, 271 days).

Laura playing with her brother
We scheduled her first chemo session for next Monday.   She will do chemo once every three weeks for 5 to 6 treatments.  Doxorubicin is the chemo drug we decided to go with.

Along with the chemo, I've also decided to take a holistic approach in helping her fight this deadly cancer.  I'll discuss her cancer diet and supplements in a future post.   We are going to do whatever it takes to get her cancer in remission and extend her life as long as possible.

She continues to do well after the surgery.   She is up and running and playing just like she is 2 years old again.  It's great to see.


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