How long can a dog live with nasal cancer?
Original Question: What is my dog's life expectancy if she has a nasal tumor? - Barbara
Thanks for your question. If you have a diagnosis of a nasal tumor, I’m very sorry to hear that you are faced with this.
The first thing I would like to say is that it is impossible for me to give you an accurate answer. I have no idea what type of tumor your dog may have, how advanced it is, how aggressive and what treatment you may have begun. Prognosis is not an exact science. Even if I knew every feature of the lesion, I would be quoting you a well-studied prognosis from a textbook. Keep in mind that there are so many variables that contribute to the course of a disease that a quoted prognosis is always to be taken lightly.
It is not my place to tell you a prognosis in your case. I have no basis for it. However, there is broad information about nasal cancer in dogs that I can share with you.
There are different types of nasal tumors. Carcinomas which account for two-thirds of all canine nasal tumors. Sarcomas occur less often. Lymphoma is common in cats but uncommon in dogs. There are a number of other much more rare nasal tumors in dogs as well.
It’s critical that you diagnosis this lesion so you have a good understanding of it’s expected course and appropriate treatment. You’ll also want to ‘stage’ it which means you would perform diagnostics to determine how advanced it is and if it is anywhere else in the body. Having this information helps you make the best treatment decision.
Prognosis, unfortunately, is poor in dogs with nasal tumors. In a study that looked at 139 dogs with an untreated nasal carcinoma, the median survival time, meaning the dog with the lifespan that fell in the middle of all of the results, survived 95 days.
With radiation treatment, one study of 12 dogs showed a median survival time of 446 days with a 50% 1-year and 25% 2-year survival rate. Response rates to chemotherapy are not well documented as there are not many that have been performed. Survival times in dogs given different chemotherapeutic treatment protocols showed median survival times between 157 and 455 days.
It’s clear that treatment can certainly extend a dog’s life. I suggest you find a veterinary oncologist close to your area and have a discussion about your particular case.
I wish you all the best.
Dr. Clayton Greenway
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