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Soft Tissue Sarcoma - amputation? | Share Your Story

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Soft Tissue Sarcoma - amputation?
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3 October 2017
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3 October 2017 - 3:49 pm
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My beloved 10.5 year old yellow lab, Ripley, has a large soft tissue sarcoma (peripheral nerve sheath tumor) on her left lateral thigh.  She had it removed about 1.5 years ago, but they were not able to get the entire thing (incomplete margins).  It has now grown back and is larger, harder, etc. than it was before the initial removal surgery.  She has never expressed any pain, discomfort or problems with the lump - as we have palpated it, the vet has felt it, and I will touch it a lot when she is laying there.  No reactions whatsover.  It is not in the way or causing any trouble that we are aware of.  We went to a vet oncologist and they recommended amputation of the leg.  They said that removing the tumor would only lead to it growing back.  They also said an option was removal and daily radiation for 30 days.  ($10K for surgery and radiation)!  That seems like a lot for her to go through if it will just grow back.  I feel like amputation is a gigantic leap too far forward, though, especially for a 10.5 year old dog that is showing no signs of pain, discomfort, or slowing down.  I would love some advice!  

Here and Now

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3 October 2017 - 4:40 pm
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We just missed you in the chat...next time be sure to post a comment to notify any online members or we'll never know you're there!

As cancers go, you got "lucky" with a soft tissue sarcoma, but yes, in most cases it will grow back. How big, where, and how quick will determine on the size of clean margins the surgeon is able to excise.

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you're sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here. Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

FYI: Many members have discussed similar concerns over the years...

Search results for 'soft tissue sarcoma' (381)

Best wishes in the decisions you face, please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

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13 October 2017 - 6:51 am
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Loki is around 10 years old and also had a STS resected from his leg (front right), only to recur worse than before. In speaking with a local vet oncologist, we learned that these tumors usually become more aggressive and invasive each time they recur. Even tumors that seem asymptomatic will eventually, likely, become either painful or detrimental once they grow big enough. Because of that, the oncologist recommended amputation for a "95% chance of cure" in our dog's situation. Loki has adapted beautifully, and I hope that if Ripley takes the same path, she thrives as well!

🐾 I'm  Loki, the cutest guy around! 🐶

 I've been a tripawd since July 10, 2017, when I rid my life of a hemangiopericytoma! My mom, Brittnie, does most of the typing, so say hi to us both any time!

Oakland, CA
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19 October 2017 - 7:14 pm
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I am so sorry you and Ripley are dealing with STS! I have another possible option for you that we recently pursued with one of our tripawds, Travis Ray. Since he was already a tripawd he could not afford to lose another leg! So we had the tumor removed (it was a Grade II and they got clean but very close margins) and went with an experimental follow up treatment since we felt he would not do well with radiation and it was 10K+. The treatment we chose consists of a series of injections of a chemo drug (5-fluorouracil or 5-FU) directly into the surgery site. You can read all about our experience and what I got out of my initial research in this forum thread.

Where are you located? Do you have a teaching hospital in your area? That would likely be the best place to inquire about 5-FU if you are interested. Total cost going this route at UC Davis in CA was just under 6K, from biopsy to final chemo. 

You will find the right solution for you and Ripley, there really is no right answer as everyone's situation is different. 

xoxo,

Martha, Codie Rae, and the Oaktown Pack

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