Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What does cancer look like? - WARNING, GROSS PICTURES

It's a lot easier to explain cancer in animals when people can see the actual tumor(s). For cancers that are only inside the body, it's more difficult for people to understand what is actually happening and why their animal is so sick. Yes, I can show them x-rays or ultrasound images, but it's just not the same as really seeing what it looks like. So, here's what it looks like...and why you often can't just "cut it out."

These are necropsy pictures from a dog that had kidney cancer that had metastasized to almost every organ of his body.

This first picture is one of his kidneys that's been cut in half. Both kidneys looked like this and were totally non-functioning. All that whitish-pink lumpy stuff is cancer.

This one is his bladder. The bumps on the bladder are metastases...little mini-tumors that spread from the main one. I didn't get a picture, but he even had metastases on his ureters.

This is his stomach. More bumps, more metastases...

and this is his liver...

and finally, his heart...it's harder to see the bumps on his heart, but the main one is just below the fat (yellow stuff near my fingers).

Every organ I looked at had metastases, the gall bladder, the adrenal glands, the entire intestinal tract, the diaphragm, the lungs, you name it. Bad disease. There was no saving this dog.


  1. Not a pretty sight, but very informative. Not everyone has the opportunity to see a necropsy ( like an autopsy for humans) Great insight!.

  2. thank you so much for the great pictures, they bring it more to reality and understanding. my husband has the cancer inside his bladder and the drs. are incouraged as it was caught early and was about 2 cm. that we were told. i now understand better what i am looking at when the ultarsound was done. his dr. is not the most informative dr. and trying to get him to give us the actual spots is a no go. dr. did say at the last ultarsound that he wanted husband to complete this round of infusions before deciding to do anymore biopsying. I sure hope there will not be anymore after this round of infusions are completed. husband is not in a good frame of mind by what the dr. said and i wish I could find a good support group in the sacramento, ca area that would give him the support i can't not having the cancer. I can only support so much, will admit i look at it as either positive mind over matter or allowing it to rule. if anyone has any ideas i would certainly love to hear from them.