There are several different types of tumours found on the toe. Pathology testing must be undertaken to indicate which type of tumour is found. The correct treatment can only be administered in accordance with the tumour type, grading and staging.
Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma is a malignant tumour of the outer layer of skin (epidermal). This tumour is more aggressive when it grows from the toe nail bed. About 1/3 will spread through the body.
Melanoma a benign tumour is known as melanocytoma. A malignant tumour is known as a malignant melanoma or melanosarcoma. Melanomas originate in the cells called melanocytes which produce a pigment called melanin. Melanomas are more aggressive when they grow from the toe nail bed. About 1/2 will spread through the body.
Mast Cell Tumours originate in the bone marrow early in life before travelling to the skin and intestine. Mast cells are a part of the immune system. A benign tumour is known as a mastocytoma in people; in dogs they are generally all referred to as mast cell tumours, and the grade (from the pathologist at the laboratory) used to determine whether they are likely benign or malignant.
Soft Tissue Sarcomas are a group of tumours that all form from connective tissue. Therefiore they can have lots of names but the most common is fibrosarcoma. Benign tumours are uncommon.
Most testicular tumours in dogs are benign and cured by surgical removal. Depending on which cell in the testicle turned cancerous they could be either:
Interstitial cell tumours
Sertoli cell tumours
These tumours can produce hormones causing prostate enlargement, perianal adenoma (benign tumours of the anus) and perineal hernia where the organs of the belly can move back into the pelvis.
Transmissible venereal tumour is similar to the cancer in Tasmanian Devils (these are the only 2 types in mammals). This is an infectious cancer. It is not a virus that causes cancer but a cancer cell that is truly infectious. It is spread by direct contact and usually causes fleshy bleeding growth on the vagina, penis, vulva and around the mouth and eyes. It is readily cured by a short course of chemotherapy.
Lipoma is a common soft ‘flabby’ feeling tumour below the skin. These can get quite big (15cm diameter often) but are easily surgically removed. There is a very rare invasive form that invades deeply into surrounding tissue and is more difficult to remove.
The thyroid gland is the gland at the base of the neck which secretes and regulations the hormones that are responsible for metabolism and organ function.
Malignant Thyroid Carcinoma is derived from the cells that make the thyroid hormone. It is uncommon for them to still make the hormone once they have turned cancerous. The less common benign form is benign adenoma and can be cured surgically or by various injection methods.