Transitional Cell Carcinoma
Transitional cell carcinoma in dogs often needs surgery and chemotherapy, and changes to diet and lifestyle can improve quality of life.
James Jacobson: One of the cancers that you both talk about in the Dog Cancer Survival Guide is transitional cell carcinoma. I wanna first of all throw this to you Dr. Dressler, if you’re looking at transitional cell carcinoma, what likely are the signs and symptoms that a dog guardian is facing?
Dr. Demian Dressler: Well, this tumor is most common cancer of the urinary tract that you see more in dogs or in certain breeds like Scottish and also dogs that are more overweight or obese. And the strange thing about transitional cell carcinoma is that it’s a growth that’s coming out from the inside of the bladder wall, growing internally into the bladder, and it can really look like a urinary tract infection to a Veterinarian because the signs are almost identical at least first thought, and those signs reflect inflammation of the bladder with this means to the dog is they’ll feel uncomfortable and so many times they’ll have blood in the urine, many time will be straining to urinate, many times looking at the genital and often urinating small amounts frequently. And one of the tricky things for the Veterinarian and also in aspect that all guardian should be aware is that often a urinalysis will look just like a urinary infection and so we always need to have this type of cancer in mind when we’re dealing with an apparent diagnoses of a urinary tract infection, especially if you have scotty or an obese dog or an elderly dog.
James Jacobson: Dr. Ettinger, what are your thoughts on transitional cell carcinoma?
Dr. Susan Ettinger: Yeah! It’s one of those that guardians look back and wonder if it’s should have been cut sooner because and actually was interesting as a lot of dogs with transitional cell carcinoma have a secondary bacterial infection, or secondary urinary tract infection, and that’s why they temporarily respond to the antibiotics and then they complete the course of antibiotics and the symptoms recur. So, it’s a little bit frustrating and quite some tends to be 20/20, but it’s a cancer with a lot of treatable option, some dogs depending on the location in the bladder will recommend surgery, but it is a cancer that even if it’s non-surgical they can respond very well to chemotherapy. There are a lot of different options and some new chemotherapy options out there for transitional cell carcinoma. And so, it’s definitely one that you wanna find out if the cancers spread, if it’s surgical and then you know just consider all the different options for it.
James Jacobson: Dr. Dressler, what are your thoughts on treatment options for transitional cell carcinoma?
Dr. Demian Dressler: Yeah! The surgical options there are usually or most commonly a palliative that means that we’re trying to improve life quality not always necessarily life expectancy as Dr. Ettinger point it out to chemotherapeutic options which do the same thing we’ve also got to remember to make changes to the diet, we wanna use a cancer fighting diet, we wanna use supplements including supplements that turn on cells suicide in cancer cells, that is called apoptogens, immune support are very, very important for these cancers and of course deliberates steps to do life quality enrichment so we can make sure that we’ve deliberately taken the energy and the time to maximize our dogs enjoyment in life and the happiness in life.
James Jacobson: There is a…
Dr. Susan Ettinger: I do wanna add one thing, there is some evidence that surgery if it is in an resectable area will allow chemotherapy deviate a little bit more effective, so it can be considered palliative but there is some reason evidence for just still being look at that perhaps if you do surgery first and then add chemotherapy, it’s better than just going straight to chemotherapy. So, it really varies case by case.
James Jacobson: Very good. Thank you so much. There’s a lot of information on transitional cell carcinoma in The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, and I wanna thank you both for joining us today. Dr. Ettinger in New York, Dr. Dressler in Hawaii, thank you.
Dr. Susan Ettinger: Thank you.
Dr. Demian Dressler: Thank you.
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