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Schwann Cell Tumor

Issue Description
Fibrosarcoma is a malignant tumor that arises from fibroblasts, cells that produce connective tissue. This is a type of sarcoma that is predominantly found in the area around bones or in soft tissue. Fibrosarcoma can occur in the mouth of dogs and on the skin of cats. It is also found in fibrous or connective tissue and most commonly occur in injection sites where the tissue has been traumatized by a needle.
Other Names

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Local warmth
  • Dilated blood vessels

  • Diagnosis
    Radiographically, fibrosarcomas of bone appear as aggressive processes with osteolytic foci with bone destruction of the motheaten, geographic or permeative pattern and little osteosclerosis or periostitis. The absence of ossification or calcification of the tumor is important diagnostically.

    Complete surgical excision can be curative; however, wide surgical margins are needed. The initial surgery (following the biopsy diagnosis) is the best chance for a cure, and it is always a good idea to seek the second opinion of a board-certified surgeon if there is any question about the surgery. This being said, it can be very difficult to obtain adequate surgical margins on a limb because of the lack of skin and soft tissue and proximity of vital structures (nerves, tendons, vessels). Amputation offers the best chance for a cure because the tumor is then removed with wide margins. A second option is to combine surgery with radiation therapy. There is a good chance that there is a radiation therapy facility within driving distance. Check your phone directory for a large teaching veterinary hospital. Surgery combined with radiation offer a fair to good prognosis of tumor control and is the next best option after amputation.

    In an otherwise healthy dog, and a well-equipped hospital with good monitoring equipment, a second anesthetic procedure should be no problem even within 24 hours. If the dog had any problems with anesthesia additional procedures would be a concern, but waiting a few weeks won't necessarily make any difference.

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