Nasopharyngeal polyps, also called otopharyngeal or inflammatory polyps, are benign pedunculated growths of uncertain origin but thought to arise as a result of chronic inflammation. Polyps have been associated with rhinitis and otitis resulting from various bacterial and viral agents; a congenital origin has been suggested as well. They may originate from the mucosal lining of the middle ear, auditory tube, and nasopharynx, all of which are of similar histologic origin. Otopharyngeal polyps occur in cats of any age, although most animals are less than 2-years old. Polyps in the external or middle ear mimic signs of otitis externa, otitis media or otitis interna.
Otoscopy after flushing may reveal a visible pink or grey smooth, spherical mass occluding the canal. Cytologic or histologic examination of biopsies will reveal the nature of the tissue when the diagnosis is not straightforward. Some surgeons perform a ventral bulla osteotomy in all cases, but this is rarely indicated because recurrence is uncommon with simple traction-avulsion after an incision in the vertical ear canal.
For more information, check out our basic surgery book, Chapter 14:
A recent press release of the WSAVA’s Oncology Working Group helps owners better understand cancer terminology
The Oncology Glossary is the first output from the WOW Group which was formed in 2021 to raise awareness of the latest thinking in cancer therapy and promote best practice globally. It explains in straightforward language many of the medical terms used in describing the presentation, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in pets with images to help illustrate some of the key terms. The document is available in for free download from the WSAVA website in a range of languages.
Commenting on the launch of the Oncology Glossary, WOW Group Member Professor Nick Bacon, a RCVS-Recognized Specialist in Small Animal Surgery (Oncology) and a European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery, said: “Cancer has a language all of its own and, during our early WOW Group discussions, it became obvious that, in order to improve communication between veterinary professionals and owners, there was an urgent need for a globally accessible resource to help owners better understand cancer terminology.
“Our Oncology Glossary is the result. We hope it will enable owners to feel on a more equal footing when they are discussing their pet’s condition with veterinary professionals. We hope it will also increase the consistency and effectiveness of communication about veterinary oncology globally.”
He added: “We will update the Oncology Glossary regularly and are now working on the development of further practical and easy-to-use tools to support veterinarians working in this rapidly evolving area of veterinary medicine. In the meantime, more resources are available on our web page at https://wsava.org/committees/oncology-working-group/”
Veterinary healthcare team members rate their knowledge at just five out ten
Veterinary professionals globally rate their knowledge of oncology at just five out ten, according to survey from the newly formed World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Oncology Working Group (WOW). The average score varied by language, with Chinese-speaking respondents rating their knowledge at the highest level (6.6) and Ukrainian-speaking respondents the lowest at 4.2. In contrast, respondents ranked the actual importance of oncology cases for their practice at seven out of ten, with minimal variation (6.3-7.7) between languages.
Almost 2,000 veterinary professionals from around the world, 95% of them veterinarians, completed the survey in ten languages, during September and October 2021. The results will help the WOW Group prioritize its efforts to educate and support WSAVA members globally in raising standards of care for veterinary oncology patients.
Respondents were also asked to rank the most common tumor types seen in their practice. The most common answer was mammary tumor (81%); followed by skin tumor 75%; abdominal tumor 40%, malignant lymphoma 39%, and other tumors 5%.* As limited numbers of North American, African, and Oceanic veterinary professionals participated in the survey, this result may not fully reflect regional differences. For instance, in parts of the world, mammary tumor incidence is lower because of a culture of early neutering.
Surgery was the most common therapy used in private practice at 55%; followed by surgery and adjuvant therapy in 30% of cases; chemotherapy in 7% and palliative care in 4%. Immediate euthanasia was recommended in 1% of cases.
While chemotherapy is only currently used by 7% of respondents, when asked which educational resources would be most valuable to them, chemotherapy protocols were requested by 82%. In addition, 53% asked for information on tumor staging, support with cytology was requested by 51%, information on treatment side-effects by 38%; advice on surgical margins by 36%, on radiation therapy by 24% and on palliative care by 6%.
“Cancer is increasingly common in companion animals, with almost 50% of dogs over 10 years of age developing this devastating disease. To support WSAVA members effectively in treating oncology patients, we wanted to know where they needed help most urgently,” explained Dr Jolle Kirpensteijn, former WSAVA President and Member of the WOW Group. “Our survey is the largest the WSAVA has ever conducted and shows the reach of this well-respected association, which works to share best practice in companion animal veterinary care around the world.”
He added: “It is salutary to see the huge demand for veterinary oncology education all over the world. We have much to do but are excited at the opportunity to support WSAVA members and to offer new hope to oncology patients and their owners globally.”
WOW Group Secretary Dr Ann Hohenhaus, who practices oncology at the Animal Medical Center in New York City, added: “We will use social media, webinars and a range of other channels to ensure maximum reach for the educational tools and resources we are developing. Based on the results of the survey, we have already adapted the focus of our stream during the 2022 WSAVA World Congress in Lima, Peru, to focus on mammary tumors – but there is much more to come before then so stay tuned!”
* Multiple answers were possible in this section
Details of study
Of 1,825 participants surveyed, 95% were veterinarians and 5% other veterinary professionals. Approximately, two-thirds of the respondents were female, one third male, with 0.2% indicating that they were non-binary. All age groups were represented, with 39% between 30-40 years; 28% between 40-50 years; 18% between 20-30 years and 17% older than 50 years. Survey responses were skewed towards Western Europe (48%), followed by Eastern Europe and Russia (22%), Asia (15%), the Americas (11%). Fewer than 1% of respondents were from Africa and Oceania.
The WSAVA Oncology Working Group (WOW) was established during 2021 under chairmanship of Dr Martin Soberano, a veterinary oncologist working in Mexico City. The WSAVA represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through its 115 member associations and works to enhance standards of clinical care for companion animals. Its core activities include the development of WSAVA Global Guidelines in key areas of veterinary practice, including pain management, nutrition and vaccination, together with lobbying on important issues affecting companion animal care worldwide.
The WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) Congress will be held November 13-15, 2021 and the great news it is virtual so you can see it from the comfort of your home. I am excited to give two lectures. One will be about biopsy techniques and results of the WSAVA Oncology Working Group (WoW) and the other about 10 tips in social media. I have made some cool proceedings for both, here are the ones for the social media lecture: