Sarcoma and Soft Tissue Sarcoma (STS) is an exceptionally complex and complicated medical condition that sees a group of tumours form and then arise from under the skin and subcutaneous connective tissue. What makes STS complicated is due to the varying severity of the disease, the location and the treatment options for it. There are an array of different types of sarcoma, with only a fraction falling into the STS bracket. The reason that some tumours fall into the STS bracket is due to their similar behaviour and growth patterns.
What is Soft Tissue Sarcoma and How Do You Diagnose It?
Soft Tissue Sarcoma is the umbrella name to a group of tumours that fall within three categories: fat (liposarcoma), fibrous connective tissue (fibrosarcoma), nerves (neurofibril sarcoma) and pericytes which are a group of blood vessels just below the skin (hemangiopericytoma). The reason that these STS are grouped together is that they are often less aggressive than other subtypes of sarcoma and follow the same pattern of behaviour. STS’s can appear on any part of your pet; they appear to be firm lumps of contained tumour in a specific area of the body. Your pet may be unaware of the lump or it may be causing mobility issues if it is located near their legs or feet, feeding problems if it is in their mouth or vomiting if it is located near their stomach. The lumps often present as just that, they are often covered in hair with no outward signs of infection. Unfortunately, the tumour isn’t always localised and can be far bigger than the outer lump is showing.
The method in which Sarcoma is diagnosed is by injecting the mass and employing a suction technique that will pull out some of the matter in the tumour. These cells are then analysed by a laboratory and the tumour given a histological grading in order to rate its aggressiveness. Most STS tumours are rated as low to intermediate (grade 1 and 2 respectively) and have a low likelihood of metastasis. Other subtypes of sarcoma have a much higher level of aggressiveness and likelihood of metastasising into other organs, histiocytic sarcoma, hemangiosarcoma and rhabdomyosarcoma, don’t fall into the STS bracket and their treatment is often far more aggrieve when compared to an STS diagnosis.
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How Is STS Treated?
The treatment for STS is taken on a case by case basis, there are a lot of variables to consider when a diagnosis is made such as: medical history, age, tumour location, aggressiveness, probability of metastasis, tumour size, spread amongst others. The most common option for dogs and cats with STS is surgery. There are also different ways that surgery may be conducted once the aforementioned variable has been assessed. A common option is partial removal if the STS is a low histological rating as it will be slow to grow back, or total removal if it is possible.
What Is CBD Oil and Can It Help Manage Sarcoma?
CBD is one compound out of 421 that make up the building blocks to cannabis. It is quickly becoming one of the most researched compounds on earth with results showing multiple applications to increase health and well-being amongst patients who are suffering from an array of complex medical conditions. CBD has and is still being researched into how it interacts and works with cancerous tumours, with results showing that it may be able to help in a variety of ways. A study conducted in 2012 highlighted how CBD can be used to help manage tumour growth when used alongside more traditional treatments such as chemo and radio therapy. The research suggests that CBD uses a variety of mechanisms to inhibit the growth of particular tumours, including breast cancer, bladder cancer and leukaemia, it limits the invasion of other cancers and increases cell death in tumours. Currently, scientists are unsure of the mechanism behind the inhibition and limitation properties of CBD, but the results are showing that it does just that. As STS is a group of tumours, CBD can also be used in conjunction with other treatment to help manage the growth and invasiveness of them as well as increase the likelihood of cell death within the tumour itself.
Secondary Effects of CBD Oil
Secondary to the management of the tumour is the other properties that CBD has on mammalian bodies, if your pet is stressed and anxious due to the pain that they are in CBD can help regulate it. It does this by binding with receptors located around the brain and nervous system (CB1) and on the cells on the immune system (CB2). Research has shown that introducing CBD can help limit anxiety, increase appetite, reduce stress and increase comfort when CBD binds with CB1 receptors. When CBD binds with CB2 receptors, it modulates the immune system and reduces the hyperactivity that results in it attacking itself, helps to limit inflammation, reduces pain and can help stop nausea and vomiting. If your pet is having to have chemo and radiotherapy for their STS or other subtype of sarcoma, this may be a welcome relief for them. When you are looking to give your pet CBD, an oil is the best option. Not only is it easy to give to your pet, the effects are far more stable and longer lasting than treats or topical creams. You will need to dose them less with oil than you would with other products, but you will need to be consistent with your dosing to give your pet the best chance of getting all the benefits from CBD.
STS is an exceptionally complex medical condition that will require your vets’ level of expertise as soon as you feel a lump. There are a lot of variable that will dictate how your pet is treated for their STS, however, evidence is showing that CBD oil is effective when it is used alongside traditional methods of treating tumours. Before you begin giving your pet CBD, tell your vet so they can advise you potential interactions between treatments as well as on how and when to dose your pet.