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 <g...@optonline.net> wrote: > <http://www.petmd.com/blogs/fullyvetted/2011/nov/screening_for_cancer> > 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 > <http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/cancer/c_dg_lymphoma> 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 > > > _______________________________________________ Felvtalk mailing list Felvtalk@felineleukemia.org http://felineleukemia.org/mailman/listinfo/felvtalk_felineleukemia.org