SKIN cancers are very common in cats and dogs. The fact that skin cancer is often reported is not too surprising as lesions are often readily visible to the owner. The skin is a large, complex organ, the barrier between the body and its environment, and is continuously being bombarded by carcinogens. It is an area of rapid cell turnover, increasing the chance of DNA mutations and allowing cancer to arise. This article, the first in a series of three, discusses the general approach to the diagnosis and management of a suspected neoplastic mass in the skin or subcutis of dogs and cats. Articles in the June and July/August issues of In Practice will concentrate on feline and canine cutaneous neoplasms, respectively.
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