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vox_dea
February 6th 09, 09:07 PM
My 16-year-old female has just gotten a diagnosis of fibrosarcoma
after a cyst removal from her back. My understanding is that most
vets recommend a biopsy first (before surgery) so that they can
determine how much tissue to remove. Well, my vet removed the cyst
and _then_ biopsied it. So now she wants to go in and remove more
tissue. I love my local vet -- she's cared for my cats since they
were born -- but I think it's time to seek out a specialist. Does
anyone have any recommendations in the Philadelphia area? I'm about
20 miles west of the city, and while I don't mind driving any
distance, I also don't want to torture my cat (who hates to be in the
cat carrier in the car). So, local would be better.

There's a place called the Veterinary Referral Center in Fraser
(Chester County), and we've been there before for a cardiogram. It's
very modern, and they seem to have a lot of state-of-the-art
equipment. Their surgeon who sees a lot of feline fibrosarcoma is a
Dr. Ken Sadanaga. My other choice would be Univ. of Penn School of
Veterinary Medicine, but as I said, the long drive to the city might
be more upsetting for my cat than it's worth.

Does anyone in the Phila. area have any experience with Dr. Sadanaga,
or any other advice? I'm worried, and upset, but determined to get my
cat the best care possible.

vox_dea
February 6th 09, 10:31 PM
Thanks, hopitus -- I'm actually a "she." :-) My name is Amy.

I've now made an appointment with Dr. Sadanaga for a consult next
week, but I'm definitely still taking suggestions and referrals. So,
hopefully your friend Phil P. will pop in and advise...

Amy

February 6th 09, 10:42 PM
On Feb 6, 3:07*pm, vox_dea > wrote:
> My 16-year-old female has just gotten a diagnosis of fibrosarcoma
> after a cyst removal from her back. *My understanding is that most
> vets recommend a biopsy first (before surgery) so that they can
> determine how much tissue to remove. *Well, my vet removed the cyst
> and _then_ biopsied it. *So now she wants to go in and remove more
> tissue. *I love my local vet -- she's cared for my cats since they
> were born -- but I think it's time to seek out a specialist. *Does
> anyone have any recommendations in the Philadelphia area? *I'm about
> 20 miles west of the city, and while I don't mind driving any
> distance, I also don't want to torture my cat (who hates to be in the
> cat carrier in the car). *So, local would be better.
>
> There's a place called the Veterinary Referral Center in Fraser
> (Chester County), and we've been there before for a cardiogram. *It's
> very modern, and they seem to have a lot of state-of-the-art
> equipment. *Their surgeon who sees a lot of feline fibrosarcoma is a
> Dr. Ken Sadanaga. *My other choice would be Univ. of Penn School of
> Veterinary Medicine, but as I said, the long drive to the city might
> be more upsetting for my cat than it's worth.
>
> Does anyone in the Phila. area have any experience with Dr. Sadanaga,
> or any other advice? *I'm worried, and upset, but determined to get my
> cat the best care possible.

The best specialty-surgeon I know (who is not connected with Penn Vet)
is Dr. Jane Kirchhoffer at Rau Animal Hospital in Glenside, PA. As it
happens, she is a Penn grad.

http://www.rauanimalhospital.com/site/view/103366_MeetourDoctors.pml;jsessionid=1iquf1tt8v807

But, as you are in Chester County, Penn Vet would be a good deal
closer. For my $0.02, I would prefer an established surgeon at an
established practice who does this sort of thing every day. Vet School
specialists will be SOTA in their equipment, research and attitude,
and if you are dealing with something exotic, the place to go. But for
something that is semi-routine, find a good surgeon with a positive
attitude and a lot of successful experience.

And if the surgeon you have identified has good references and you are
comfortable with him, there is no reason not to use him - again, those
who handle these cases routinely will do it more efficiently, more
quickly and more completely than those who are remembering their way
after a long time away, or feeling their way through it the first few
times. And the longer the time under the knife, the more complications
possible - especially for a senior cat. But check those references.
Any decent Dr. will be pleased that you do so.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA

Buddy's Mom
February 7th 09, 02:31 AM
Is this from vacinations?

vox_dea
February 7th 09, 04:44 AM
>> On Feb 6, 8:31*pm, "Buddy's Mom" > wrote:
> Is this from vacinations? <<

Buddy's Mom, that would be my guess. Our cats are 100% indoor, and a
few years ago our vet started recommending that, since our cats aren't
exposed to other cats, we _not_ get all our shots (just rabies, as
it's required by law). After a little reading about this condition
(vaccine-associated sarcoma), I was shocked to find that it's
veterinary medicine's dirty little secret. If they've known about
this since 1991 -- before my cats were even born! -- why are we still
getting the same aluminum-containing vaccinations nearly 20 years
later, and why were my cats getting feline leukemia, distemper, etc.
etc. vaccinations for so many years before we were advised against
them?

It makes me positively ill that because I took good care of my cats --
the best food, yearly vet exams with vaccinations -- I may very well
be to blame for my cat's lousy prognosis. Even under the best of
circumstances, aggressive surgery and radiation treatment, she's only
expected to live for, at most, two more years. And I'm not going to
subject her to endless surgeries and painful and uncomfortable
radiation treatments just to get her a few more months. So it's more
likely a lot _less_ than two years for her. I can't believe this is
still going on -- if it were happening with vaccinations for humans,
this would be all over the press, there would be lawsuits, etc. etc.

vox_dea
February 7th 09, 04:50 AM
Thanks, Peter. I'll look into Dr. Kirchhoffer, and keep her name in
reserve for after my appointment with Dr. Sadanaga. I did finally
find his credentials, and what I especially like is that he
specializes in surgical oncology. But unfortunately it looks like the
prognosis is bad even if I have the top expert on the planet. Sigh.

February 7th 09, 05:10 AM
On Feb 6, 10:44*pm, vox_dea > wrote:


> if it were happening with vaccinations for humans,
> this would be all over the press, there would be lawsuits, etc. etc.

Don't leap to conclusions. It may be a random event - happens with
cats, dogs, people, even fish.

There is not always someone or something to blame - and keep in mind
that the need to identify and blame an external cause is often based
on guilt, wishful thinking and anecdote, not well-supported fact. Do
the best you can with what you have, and keep a positive attitude.
Your cat will draw strength from you if you do. She won't if you are
angry and guilty.

Remember the various stages of grief - and also remember who is the
patient here.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA

vox_dea
February 7th 09, 05:43 PM
On Feb 6, 11:10*pm, " > wrote:
> and keep in mind
> that the need to identify and blame an external cause is often based
> on guilt, wishful thinking and anecdote, not well-supported fact. Do
> the best you can with what you have, and keep a positive attitude.
> Your cat will draw strength from you if you do. She won't if you are
> angry and guilty.
>
> Remember the various stages of grief - and also remember who is the
> patient here. <<

Thanks, Peter. Of course that's the sensible response to this. I
finished up with denial pretty quickly, after a few hours of searching
and reading, and I guess I'm stuck in anger right now. (Having been
through this same cycle when my sister died of leukemia 30+ years ago,
I really ought to know better.)

I _do_ want to keep up a cheerful, good attitude for my cat, Psyche.
I want her remaining time with us to be happy and _normal_, as much as
it can be. One thing I'm not finding anywhere is statistics on any
cat who simply...lived. I guess I'm wondering if it's at all within
the realm of possibility for removal to be 100% successful, with no
tumor regrowth. I've been trying to talk myself into the idea that
maybe those people simply don't participate in studies, so they're
undocumented...but I think that falls under the stage of "bargaining"
or perhaps just "denial." In any case, if anyone has any anecdotal
evidence about cats whose cancer just *went away*, I am here and in
denial and listening!

Amy
(Psyche: http://www.fjordstone.com/cats/goddessoffjordstone.jpg)