Okay, okay. Sometimes doctors get carried away. But, if you saw this lump, you’d be speechless, too.
Ready for it?
This brown, squishy multi-lobulated lump grew out of a beagle mix’s side for a year! It never bothered her and it didn’t seem to get in the way.
Surgery to remove the lump was successful. The specialty pathology report stated this was a fibroadnexal hamartoma. A what? Okay, first, it’s benign. This means it’s a cancer, but it doesn’t spread around the body. That’s good.
Benign means a “good” cancer. One that does not metastasize, or spread around the body to distant areas.
Fibro means related to connective tissue. Most of the skin has connective tissue. Ligaments, joint capsules, the underlayment of the skin: these are all connective tissues.
Adnexal relates to the adnexa. Okay, I know, that doesn’t help. Adnexa are the structures of the skin surrounding a hair follicle. It’s just what they’re called. Because doctors need fancy words for things to make money – I mean, to be specific when they talk about things. (Did I say that out loud?) I think of “nexa” as “next to.”
Hamartoma. Hmmm. -Oma, by itself, absolutely not “sarcoma*,” means benign cancer. Hamar. No idea!! Ha, so there. It sounds cool and weird though, doesn’t it?
Moral of the story: sometimes you pay a lot for a diagnosis that no one really understands. Except the peace of mind that it won’t kill or harm your dog (at least not any more than the veterinarian did with the scalpel.) Plus, the thing just looked nasty sticking out of the poor dog’s side. Sometimes we just should make things look less nasty.
*-oma is a suffix applied to a benign tumor. -sarcoma is a suffix indicating a metastatic tumor and a poorer over-all prognosis.