Mass or tumor removals are not uncommon in dogs and cats. These masses grow in or around a major organ, (subcanteously) under skin or apart of the skin. These masses or tumors can be benign or malignant. Malignant tumors have a higher chance for recurrence, spread to other parts of the body, or have impaired healing and need a wider margin of excision than benign tumors. Therefore; the incision may be much larger then the mass itself. Unfortunately, sometimes it is impossible to get a definitive diagnosis without removal and histopathology. Even with aggressive surgery, these tumors occasionally re-grow and need further surgery. Rarely, the tumor can be so invasive that complete excision is not possible without damaging the organs, nerves or blood vessels that lie near the mass.
Histopathology reveals the types of cells present in abnormal tissue, permitting accurate diagnosis of the disease and helping determine appropriate treatment(s). Where cancer is involved, histopathology helps determine the aggressiveness of the cancer, which assists in coming to a decision how to proceed.