Eighty percent of nasal tumors in dogs are malignant, and 60% to 75% are of epithelial origin.1–4 Primary tumors of the nasal cavity account for approximately 1% of all neoplasms that develop in dogs.1–5 Despite the low incidence detected in those studies, nasal tumors comprise a large fraction of the types of tumors treated by veterinary oncologists. In a 2001 survey of 31 radiation therapy facilities in the United States, 10% (266/2,790) of all dogs evaluated had nasal tumors; neoplasia of the nasal cavity was the fifth most common type of neoplasia treated by use of external beam irradiation.6
In dogs, nasal carcinomas are characterized by progressive, local invasion with destruction of bone early in the disease.7 At the time of death, as many as 46% of dogs with nasal carcinomas have metastases to the lungs or regional lymph nodes.2 However, at initial diagnosis, the proportion of dogs with clinically detectable metastatic disease ranges only from 0% to 12%; therefore, treatment has been directed at controlling local disease.8–11 Use of cytoreductive surgery via rhinotomy has been well documented1,12; however, because of the invasiveness of most tumors, the response is poor when this modality is used alone.3,7,13,14 Radiation therapy alone or in combination with cytoreductive surgery is considered to be the most effective form of treatment.8,9,15–18
Reported median survival times for dogs with intranasal neoplasia treated with radiation therapy range from 7.4 to 47.7 months.8,9,15–18 Results of those studies have not actually indicated that those survival times are significantly different from those of dogs with nasal tumors that are not treated. Also, some dogs that are not able to undergo multiple anesthetic episodes or have concurrent medical conditions are poor candidates for treatment with radiation therapy. For such patients and for those with owners who decline treatment, there is a paucity of information in the literature regarding outcome. The purpose of the retrospective study reported here was to evaluate factors associated with survival in dogs with nasal carcinomas that did not receive treatment or received only palliative treatment.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
World Health Organization
Quality of life
Statistix, version 8.0, Analytical Software, Tallahassee, Fla.
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