Hemangiosarcoma

From Academic Kids

Hemangiosarcoma is a rapidly growing, highly invasive variety of cancer. It is a blood-fed sarcoma; that is, blood vessels grow directly into the tumor and it is typically filled with blood. A frequent cause of death is the rupturing of this tumor, causing the victim to rapidly bleed to death.

Hemangiosarcoma in dogs

This cancer is somewhat common in dogs, and more so in certain breeds including German Shepherds. The dog often exhibits no symptoms until the tumor has become very large and has metastasized. Owners often discover that the dog has hemangiosarcoma when the dog collapses and dies.

The tumor most often appears on the spleen or the heart, although varieties also appear on the skin or in other locations.

Treatment includes chemotherapy and, where practical, removal of the tumor with the affected organ, such as with a splenectomy. It is not clear how effective the treatment is; few if any studies have been done, although a study involving splenectomies and chemotherapy was underway on the east coast of the United States in 2003.

Hemangiosarcoma on internal organs is usually fatal even with treatment, and usually within weeks or, at best, months.

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