When in doubt, cut it out! But by how much?

A look at margins for mast cell tumor excision

Mast cell tumor on a three-year-old boxer. Photo: Creative Commons/Joel Mills
Like any profession, veterinary medicine has its collection of common knowledge. These are “facts” nearly everyone knows, only hardly anyone can remember where they learned these facts or how they came to be facts in the first place. Even after 20 years in the profession, when much of what I was taught is no longer considered gospel, I often find veterinary students have somehow absorbed the same mysterious bits of conventional wisdom I did, usually without being able to trace their source or judge their reliability. One of my favorites is the optimal margins for excision of canine mast cell tumors (MCT).
Everyone knows you should take out a MCT with 3-cm latera...


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