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Mast Cell Tumor - Looking For Info

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A friend's ridgeback has just been diagnosed with a mast cell tumor on her rear leg. Is there a good site or sites I can direct her to regarding mast cell tumors?




Annette, mom to Banjo (AJN Spider Man) & Casey (kitty), wife to Roy. Mom to bridgekids: Wheat (GH), Icabod (GH), Scarlett (Cab's Peg Bundy), Rhett (Kiowa Day Juice), Dixie (Pazzo Dixie), Pogo/Gleason (Rambunctious), and Miriam (Miriam of Ruckus) and Spooky, Taffy, Garfield, & Lefty (kitties)

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Hum- I'm familiar with MCT's but, don't really have a good link to suggest.

I do know that you'll have to obtain a biopsy in order to grade it. The surgeon should try to attempt to achieve really wide margins as the cells tend to halo the mass. Achieving a clean margin may prove difficult because of the location of the mass (limb).

Many biopsy results return being a Grade 2-- 2 can behave like a grade 1 (essentially benign) or a 2 can behave like a grade 3 (aggressive). After the biopsy has been graded further testing can be performed to determine the behavior of the tumor.

Sending good thoughts.

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I would have to seriously look through my web links, but you would probably be just as quick doing web searches.

I'll tell you our story, sorry it is kinda long....


FedX has a mast cell tumor on his hind leg, up hear the 'hip' joint. I first noticed it because this soft lump would appear then disappear. I had to get him to the vet when it appeared and they took a regular needle biopsy of it and the vet saw the mast cells.

He said the lump appears because the mast cell produce histamine which is an inflammatory responce therefor the swelling.

Now our plans were to have it removed the next week and send it off for analysis to grade it. the vet said if it was a grade 1-2 then a good removal with clear margins would be sufficient, otherwise radiation would have been recommended. Our vet put him on prednisone to shrink the tumor until removal, which FedX reacted badly too, so after 2 days we stopped that. After some web research i found a lot of studies using curcumin against soft tissue cancers with good results (a lot of studies were in humans for mast and breast cancer). So i started FedX on the curcumin. It actually kept the lump from swelling, i noticed results in 2 days (warning-curcumin can cause loose stools).

Now in our case we ended up not doing the removal surgery since a few days later and one day before the surgery FedX was diagnosed with OS in his front leg so proceeding with surgery wasn't necessary. I kept him on the curcumin anyway, and it helps that curcumin works with the artemisinin that I started him on for the OS.

He now gets two capsules of curcumin a day, the mast cell tumor is still there but hasn't appeared to get any bigger. I do still see the swelling go up and down. It has now been just over a year since both diagnoses and he is still going strong.

I had read that mast cell tumors can metastasize fairly easily so if it hadn't been for the OS i probably would have had it removed anyway, but his seems to be stable, and any mets could be due to either cancer so there is no way to tell and we haven't seen any mets yet. Could be due to the curcumin (i am a strong believer now), artemisinin, both together, his chinese herbs, or just pure good luck!


Here are a couple links i had bookmarked:





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Guest Greytluv

My Springer had a mast cell on her back leg. We had it removed and had clean margins. She was 12. She died at 16. Never had another occurrence of the mast cell.

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Guest madredhare

Sadie had several mast cell tumors removed. They were able to get clear margins on all tumors and it has been 2 years with no re-occurance. Although I must admit, that whenever I find a bump, I take her in for a needle aspirate.

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Here's a good article about Mast Cell Tumors. They can range from Grade I, which are essentially benign, to Grade III, which are malignant and very aggressive. The only way to tell the grade of a mast cell tumor (MCT) is to biopsy or remove with wide margins and submit for histopathology. Surgical removal with wide margins is very important, and if it's in a difficult location, it may be worth considering a consult and surgery with a board certified surgeon.


If it is a relatively large tumor in a difficult location, it may also be beneficial to start with just a small biopsy to find out what grade you're dealing with. While this will mean a second procedure to remove the tumor, if it comes back as Grade 1, you may not have to do as aggressive a surgery as narrower margins might be ok.


A new treatment option that was approved after the article above was written is the cancer drug Palladia. It is specifically FDA approved to treat MCT in dogs.

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice


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