Canine Cancer Secrets

Dog breast cancer or mammary cancer is a fairly common cancer and is now known as the number one natural cause of death in older and unspayed female dogs. Like in most cancer sites, there are several types of breast cancer.

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1. Carcinoma in situ – Breast cancer often starts at ducts and lobules. If the abnormal cells have not yet spread to other parts of the breast and has only remained at the root location, it is termed as carcinoma in situ.

2. Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) – Ductal carcinoma in situ is the most common form of non-invasive breast cancer and the most curable. It occurs when cancer cells remain in the ducts and do not affect the fatty tissues that surround the breast.

3. Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) – Lobular carcinoma in situ occurs when the milk-producing glands of the body do not get through the lobule walls. It is not really breast cancer in the strictest sense, but this condition can increase the risk for breast cancer development later in life.

4. Infiltrating (invasive) ductal carcinoma (IDC) – About eighty percent of all invasive breast cancer cases is infiltrating ductal carcinoma, thus, it is the most common form of breast cancer. In this type of breast cancer, cancerous cells start in the milk passages, go through the milk ducts, and spread to other parts of the breast.

5. Infiltrating (invasive) lobular carcinoma (ILC) – In infiltrating lobular carcinoma, cancerous cells start at the lobules instead of the ducts. This type of cancer can also invade other cells in other parts of the body by going through the passages. Only ten percent of the invasive breast cancer cases is infiltrating lobular carcinoma.

Mammary tumors in dogs are less aggressive than those of cats. But then again, dog-owners should watch out for the signs and symptoms of canine cancer, for the early diagnosis and treatment of the different types of breast cancer.