Date: 2001-08-19 18:05:00 UTC
Subject: [Ferret-Health-list] adrenal and insulinoma
OK, with the preclusion that I'm not a vet, but just very
interested in medicine, here's my laypersons explanation.
Please all, correct me if I'm wrong.
No, it is not all the same.
Cancer can be either malignant or benign. Cancer is a
growth/tumor/neoplasm caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell
A benign tumor means:
1. it is usually only one tumor as opposed to a group of
2. it grew at one point and then stopped and/or did not
spread/is not spreading to other organs
A malignant tumor is one that does not stop growing and/or
creating new tumors and has the potential to spread to other
organs other than the one it originated in.
Most adrenal tumors are benign, meaning that it just affects
the one organ and will sometimes just grow to a certain point
and stop. Removing the tumor is usually all that is needed to
cure the ferret of that cancer. Most times it is just easier
to remove the whole organ to make sure the tumor is removed
(i.e. the left adrenal gland). The right gland, however, is so
close to the vena cava that complete removal of the tumor and
gland is very hard and even though it is/can be benign, the
tumor has the potential to grow back because all the tumor
cells were not removed. It may seem malignant because the
tumor grows back from leftover tumor cells, but it is usually
not because it does not make new cells cancerous.
Insulinomas are almost always malignant, meaning that even if
you take out the tumors they come back and keep growing
throughout the organ. I'm not sure if inslet cell tumors
(insulinoma tumors) can move to other organs, but from what
I've read it does metastasize throughout the pancreas.
Hope this helps and hope it is pretty much correct,
with Maggie, Bullwinkle, Shasta, Emeline and Icabod
From: ferret mom [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, August 18, 2001 4:44 PM
I'm a bit confused on the fact that sometimes I see
all adrenal tumors referred to as malignancies or
cancers. I guess that's where I'm confused. Are all
malignancies cancer and all cancers malignancies?
Does one of these terrible words have a double meaning
of just being a tumor and not what I usually think of
when I hear the words? I think of them as
interchangeable. I know the tumor that was in the
gland removed from my girl was not actually cancer. It
was described as a neoplasm. Are all insulinomas
cancer that will spread out of the pancreas and effect
other organs? Or are they non cancerous in some or
all of the cases? My girl also had an insulinoma
removed. She had no symptoms and the insulinoma was
found during the adrenal surgery. So far she has a
normal sugar that is holding at around 120 when she
has been tested.
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