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If Your Dog Has Cancer, This Podcast Can Help
Rare Plasmacytomas in Dogs with Dr. Nancy Reese

Rare Plasmacytomas in Dogs │ Dr. Nancy Reese Q&A


Summary

In this week’s episode of Dog Cancer Answers, Dr. Nancy Reese discusses plasmacytoma tumors. She explains that most vets who find plasmacytoma tumors in their patients, will locate them as solitary, non-aggressive, pink growths on the surface of the skin that can be resolved using surgical removal. These kinds of tumors are called cutaneous plasmacytomas and make up approximately 86% of all plasmacytoma cases. The remaining 14% of these types of growths are classified as non-cutaneous extramedullary plasmacytomas and are found in the cells of the oral cavity (9% of the time), the GI tract (4% of the time), and in the bone marrow (less than 1% – in multiple myeloma). They are also much more aggressive, harder to diagnose, and difficult to treat, which is exactly what Dr. Nancy covers in this week’s episode.


Episode Notes

Links Mentioned in Today’s Show:

The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity by Dr. Demian Dressler and Dr. Susan Ettinger.

https://www.dogcancerblog.com/articles/full-spectrum-cancer-care/dog-cancer-diet/nutrient-dense-foods-dog-cancer-diet/ by: Amber Drake, EdD (ABD), MEd, BSc, C.L.A.S.S. Certified

https://apocaps.com/about-apocaps/

https://dogcancerdiet.com/

https://www.dogcancerblog.com/articles/choosing-treatments/prednisone-for-dog-cancer-2/ by Dr. Demian Dressler

Helpful Resources and Related Links:

To join the private Facebook group for readers of Dr. Dressler’s book “The Dog Cancer Survival Guide” go to  https://www.facebook.com/groups/dogcancersupport/

https://www.dogcancerblog.com/articles/full-spectrum-cancer-care/conventional/chemotherapy/first-dog-cancer-drug-fda-approved-but-not-great/ by Dr. Demian Dressler

Dog Cancer News is a free weekly newsletter that contains useful information designed to help your dog with cancer. To sign up, please visit: www.dogcancernews.com

About Today’s Guest, Dr. Nancy Reese:

Dr. Nancy Reese is a small animal veterinarian with over 30 years of clinical experience taking care of cats and dogs and other critters in the Sierra Nevada foothills. She is also a perpetual student and researcher, as evidenced by her many degrees. In addition to her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of California, Davis, she earned a Masters in Preventive Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis and then a Ph.D. in Epidemiology at UC Davis. If you string all her letters out after her name it looks like this: Nancy Reese, DVM, MPVM, PhD. In her spare time, she volunteers to help evacuate and shelter animals caught up in disasters, and she’s currently training to help in human search and rescue efforts. Dr. Reese lives in a log cabin with her husband, her 13-year-old golden retriever, and her two 13-year-old cats. Her hobbies include boosting the quality of life and longevity for all animals in her care, hiking, travelling, and cross-country skiing. Oh, and lots of dog walking.    degree from the University of California at Davis before earning his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University.

You can find hundreds of articles Dr. D wrote about dog cancer on his immensely popular website: https://www.dogcancerblog.com/meet-the-veterinarians-dr-dressler/

Dog Cancer Answers is a Maui Media production in association with Dog Podcast Network

This episode is sponsored by the best-selling animal health book The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity by Dr. Demian Dressler and Dr. Susan Ettinger. Available online and in store wherever fine books are sold. And, Dog Cancer News, an editorial production brought to you by Maui Media.

Listen to this podcast episode for a special discount code.

If you would like to ask a dog cancer related question for one of our expert veterinarians to answer on a future Q&A episode, call our Listener Line at 808-868-3200.

Have a guest you think would be great for our show? Contact our producers at DogCancerAnswers.com

Have an inspiring True Tail about your own dog’s cancer journey you think would help other dog lovers? Share your true tail with our producers.

Dog Cancer News is a free weekly newsletter that contains useful information designed to help your dog with cancer. To sign up, please visit: www.dogcancernews.com

Transcript

>> Dr. Nancy Reese: A lot of times when we have a lump and we see it’s a plasmacytoma we think, oh, that’s good, the prognosis is very good, but there’s a set of those — even the benign looking ones that can start in the skin and metastasized to other locations. This is the time when you don’t really want to be that special, unique case. Unfortunately, it does happen, and it makes treatment a lot harder because there just isn’t a lot of experience with those types of cancers.

>> Narrator: Welcome to Dog Cancer Answers, where we help you help your dog with cancer.

Here’s your host, James Jacobson.

>> James Jacobson: Hello friend. Thank you for joining me this week on Dog Cancer Answers. On today’s question and answer episode we’re talking about what happens when your dog is diagnosed with a cancer that is not playing by the expected rules of most veterinary textbooks.

Who can you turn to when even the most specialized and clinically trained veterinarians and veterinary oncologists are having trouble defining the metastatic patterns of your dog’s cancer.

To help answer these questions, we brought back one of our trusted veterinary partners, Dr. Nancy Reese. Dr. Nancy’s credentials include earning a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine, a master’s degree in Preventative Veterinary Medicine, a PhD in Epidemiology, all from UC Davis in California — and Dr. Nancy is we call her has over 30 years of clinical experience practicing medicine as a small animal vet.

We call on Dr. Nancy for many of these complex questions, because she’s a great resource given her work in the medical research field, as well as her knowledge and experience working with her own animal patients in her practice.

Now, in a moment, you’re going to hear a recording of a listener question and when that happens, I can only imagine, that you may ask yourself, how this caller’s question was able to get featured on Dog Cancer Answers. If that’s you, then please stay tuned to the end of this week short yet informative Q&A episode, because I am going to tell you exactly how you can call us to record your very own specific dog cancer question, for one of our better partners to answer here on Dog Cancer Answers.

For now, let’s get started with this week’s Q&A topic about a rare manifestation of plasmacytomas.

Dr. Nancy joins us for another listener question and answer episode today, we are taking a question from Lia on plasmacytomas. Let’s listen to the question and get Nancy’s take on the other side.

>> Lia – LL Caller: Hi there. My name is Lia and I’m calling from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. My question for you is about my Collie, Brody. He’s a Collie cross and he’s been diagnosed with multifocal extramedullary plasmacytoma. He has tumors in the pylorus, jejunum, colon, and lungs.

We’ve been treating him for a year now with the cancer diet, Apocaps, K9 Immunity, as well as Melphalan and Methylprednisolone, and he’s doing well, but the tumor is remaining static. In all of my, and my oncologists research, we can’t find much data on plasmacytomas manifesting through the body like this. She’s spoken with her superiors and his cancer has truly stumped everyone.

So, I was wondering what you can tell me about plasmacytomas? How they arise and how they can be treated? And if you’ve have heard of plasmacytomas is manifesting in this way.

My Brody seems to be one in a million and we’re all left with so many questions. So, thank you so much for any information you can provide.

>> James Jacobson: One of those rare ones, Brody and plasmacytoma. Dr. Nancy, I bet you’ve been doing some research. What have you got to share?

>> Dr. Nancy Reese: Indeed. Definitely had to do some research to find information about that particular variation of the plasmacytoma. In general, plasmacytomas are usually — we consider them fairly benign because they’re solitary, pink growths that come up — they don’t come up pretty quickly. They don’t spread very fast and surgery to take out the one tumor is usually curative.

So, a lot of times when we have a lump and we see it’s a plasmacytoma we think, oh, that’s good, the prognosis is very good, but there’s a set of those — even the benign looking ones that can start in the skin and metastasized to other locations. So, the prognosis for those is a little worse.

And then there’s versions like what Brody seems to have, where they didn’t start in the skin andspread somewhere else. They arose in these deeper tissues. So, the quote, “non-cutaneous extramedullary plasmacytoma” which is a mouthful to say, seems to be one of the more aggressive forms, because you’re not going to see this lump show up. It’s going to be somewhere inside, somewhere like the GI tract. So, it could be in the esophagus or in the stomach, the colon, the small intestines — and the symptoms of that are not going to be easy to pick up and they can have many tumors by the time it’s diagnosed.

It truly does seem to be a pretty rare manifestation. There are a couple of reports in the literature of cases of this, but because they’re so rare, there’s still not a lot of information about treatment and things. So, they try to extrapolate from human studies. And the things that she’s doing is absolutely what is probably the best that we know of at this point. The melphalan and that version of prednisone, help to slow the tumor growth and spread and then all of those good anti-cancer prevention types of things are keeping the body and immune system healthy, like the diet and Apocaps and things like that — all those supportive things.

Truly, this is the time when you don’t really want to be that special, unique case, but unfortunately it does happen, and it makes treatment a lot harder because there just isn’t a lot of experience with those types of cancers.

>> James Jacobson: So, when you have one of those rare, one in a million cases, what do you as a veterinarian do — and how do you go about doing this type of research to find out what the options are?

>> Dr. Nancy Reese: Pull out the old good old textbooks and see if there’s anything in the older literature. Cause sometimes there’s weird reports from way back when that somebody documented a case and it just hasn’t been reported enough since then. So, I often find a lot of things in some older literature — doesn’t have current treatment, but at least if we can find, hey, you know, they did talk about this in the eighties — which doesn’t seem that old to me.

And then a lot of internet searching — just like everybody else does, but through some of the scholarly channels or whatever, to find articles that document this. And then having to look at human literature, because sometimes there’s at least more information in the human literature than in the animal literature, because there aren’t that many people looking into those rare cancers with the animals.

It’s really frustrating to get a rare case, because you want to be able to say these are the standard treatments and this works in seventy-five percent of the dogs, but with a rare thing, you’re kind of saying, well, this drug sort of works in cancers that are kind of similar to this, so maybe that’s the best thing we have.

It isn’t necessarily appropriate for this kind of cancer, but something like Palladia that was developed for mass cell tumors has been tried in a whole bunch of different cancers and seems to have some surprisingly good effects on those kinds of cancers, but that always is developing out of a frustration of not knowing where to go next.

>> James Jacobson: It’s tough when you get one of these unusual cancers — and I like the idea of going back to some of the old literature, all the way back to the eighties, and maybe even the seventies. It’s nice to be reminded that sometimes there were answers back then that maybe we have forgotten or that are not taught these days.

>> Dr. Nancy Reese: I have to say, I’ve looked back at my old vet school notes — when they were still written on paper, no computers, and sometimes I’m surprised about the information that’s in there that I didn’t remember we were exposed to.

>> James Jacobson: That’s awesome. Dr. Nancy, thank you so much for being with us.

>> Dr. Nancy Reese: Thank you.

>> James Jacobson: A big thank you to Dr. Nancy for addressing this week’s question on rare plasmacytomas and to Lia who called in about her special dog, Brody — and a big thank you to you for listening. We hope this Q&A session will help other dog lovers out who may have a similar problem with their dog’s cancer.

If you find our podcast helpful, please support us by liking us on Facebook and by subscribing to our show on YouTube or Spotify or Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts. And if you want to become one of our ultimate supporters, make sure that you tell your friends and your family, and most of all, perhaps your veterinarian and their staff about Dog Cancer Answers. Doing this will not only help our podcast continue to grow and reach more people, but it will help us connect to other dog lovers and dog guardians just like you.

Oh, and of course, make sure to visit our website at dogcanceranswers.com — where you can find the show notes for this episode or any other episode that we’ve aired in season one, or two, or three of Dog Cancer Answers.

Up next. We have a message from our sponsor, which helps us to keep the lights on here at Dog Podcast Network. Please pay attention because it’s relevant to you and it helps us continue to make these shows possible. On the other side of the break, I’ll give you those promised details about how you can have your question answered by one of our veterinary experts. Stick around.

Did you hear those touchstones? They are here to remind me to make good on my promise from earlier — and that is, if you have a dog cancer question for one of our veterinary experts, just give us a call and ask your question on our listener line. We’ll make sure that your question is addressed, and it could even appear in a future episode of our show.

The number to call is (808) 868-3200. Again, that number is (808) 868-3200. It’s a recorded line, it’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week — so you can call it at your own convenience. And if you’re not up for calling, well, you can send us an email with your question, or maybe even a future show topic. You can do that on our website, dogcanceranswers.com, by clicking on a link at the top of the page that says, “ask us a question.” We read them all and we look forward to hearing from you.

I’d like to thank Dr. Nancy Reese for her time today, and most of all, again, thank you for listening. Until next time, I’m James Jacobson and from all of us here at Dog Cancer Answers and Dog Podcast Network we wish you and your dog a very warm aloha.

>> Narrator: Thank you for listening to Dog Cancer Answers. If you’d like to connect, please visit our website at dogcanceranswers.com or call our listener line at (808) 868-3200.

And here’s a friendly reminder that you probably already know, this podcast is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It’s not meant to take the place of the advice you receive from your dog’s veterinarian. Only veterinarians who examine your dog can give you veterinary advice or diagnose your dog’s medical condition.

Your reliance on the information you hear on this podcast. Only at your own risk. If your dog has a specific health problem, contact your veterinarian.

Also, please keep in mind that veterinary information can change rapidly, therefore, some information may be out of date.

Dog Cancer Answers is a presentation of Maui Media in association with Dog Podcast Network.


Dr. Nancy Reese

DVM, MPVM, Ph.D.

California, USA

More Episodes

Dr. Nancy Reese, DVM, MPVM, Ph.D., is a small animal veterinarian with over 30 years of clinical experience taking care of cats and dogs and other critters in the Sierra Nevada foothills.