It is important to take a holistic approach to cancer patients and remember that there is a patient attached to every tumour. Considering the whole patient, and not just the tumour in isolation, is likely to ensure that no important underlying causes, comorbidities or paraneoplastic diseases are missed. These may themselves require specific management in addition to treatment of the primary cancer. An important part of this initial patient approach is tumour staging, which allows assessment of the extent of disease and allows the formulation of an appropriate therapeutic plan and prognosis. This article discusses clinical examination of dogs and cats.
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