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Injection-Site Sarcoma (Vaccine-Site Sarcoma)

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Diagnosis In-depth

Diagnostic tests must be performed to confirm the diagnosis of injection-site sarcoma and exclude other types of masses. Tests may include:

  • A complete medical history and physical examination

  • Tests may be required to determine the nature of a swelling and the risk of distant spread (metastasis). For example, X-rays of the chest may be taken to evaluate for spread of a tumor to the lungs. Routine blood and urine tests may be completed to determine your pet's general health and ability to safely tolerate sedation or anesthesia for biopsy or removal of the mass.

  • Injection-site sarcomas can be diagnosed by history of vaccination and occurrence of a mass in a region of the body where vaccination has been performed. Biopsy of any mass that has developed in an area of previous injection or vaccination is recommended. The location, shape and size of the mass should be determined and recorded.

  • Radiographs. X-rays of the chest or nearby area of bone is often recommended to determine if any metastasis has occurred.

  • Advanced imaging. CT or MRI scans may be recommended to help determine the full extent of the tumor. Many tumors have root-like projections that extend further than the palpable mass. The best treatment success requires a full understanding of the extent of the tumor.


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