Thanks, will keep this info on file in case I ever need it.  Thank God, all my 
girls and 1 boy are healthy, bt it pays to keep up on everything.

---- GRAS <> wrote: 
>  <>
> Blood Tests for Cancer Screening?
> November 23, 2011
> I recently received a request to talk about a specific topic - newly
> available blood tests for cancer in pets. I didn't know very much about the
> subject, but looking into it was fascinating. Here's what I found.
> Blood tests that look for the presence of biomarkers (i.e., something that
> indicates the presence of disease) associated with certain types of cancer
> are now commercially available. Two companies offer these tests, and they
> take somewhat different approaches. One measures the blood levels of
> tyrosine kinase, an enzyme that can mutate and cause unregulated cell
> growth, which is the hallmark of cancer. This test can be used to look for
> <> lymphoma in dogs
> and cats and hemangiosarcoma in dogs. The other type of test looks at a how
> certain proteins are expressed in a blood sample (i.e., proteomic
> biomarkers) and can be used to evaluate dogs for lymphoma. While the two
> types of tests are different, they have many of the same pros and cons, so
> I'll address them together.
> First of all, these tests are not really "cancer screens." They cannot tell
> you whether or not your dog or cat has cancer or is cancer-free. They only
> evaluate for the specific cancers, lymphoma and/or hemangiosarcoma.
> Also, calling them a "screening test" might make them seem a bit more
> powerful than they really are. According to the National Cancer Institute,
> screening is "checking for disease when there are no symptoms," but the
> companies that make these tests freely admit that they should be used
> primarily when there is already a high level of suspicion that a pet has the
> disease in question.
> For example, a dog presents with blood in its abdomen and a mass on its
> spleen. The tyrosine kinase blood test might be useful in determining
> whether the patient has a hemangiosarcoma versus a hematoma or other benign
> mass. Another scenario where testing might be useful is in differentiating
> between inflammatory bowel disease and intestinal lymphoma without the need
> for intestinal biopsies, either via surgery or endoscopy.
> I would not recommend these tests to my clients who have pets without
> clinical signs associated with lymphoma or hemangiosarcoma. Why? The blood
> tests have a relatively high rate of false positive results, which means
> that a large number of clients will be told that their pets might have
> cancer when they really do not. This will bring about a lot of unnecessary
> worry and will necessitate additional, expensive diagnostic testing before
> coming to a definitive diagnosis of "no cancer."
> So as I see it, these blood tests for lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma could be
> beneficial in very specific situations, but they are not true "cancer
> screening tests." Keep in mind also that they have not been widely used and
> therefore may have some glitches that we are not yet aware of. The results
> should be looked at as just one more piece of information that must be
> analyzed in combination with a pet's history, physical exam, and the
> findings of more established diagnostic tests.
> If anybody else has a topic they'd like to learn more about, pass it on and
> I'll see what I can do.
> Dr. Jennifer Coates

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