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firstname.lastname@example.org Cancer In The Canine Part 2. Veterinary Oncology and the Dog Cancer Detection and Clinical Staging Some cancers, however, may produce non-specific symptoms that make it extremely difficult to determine where in the body they may be developing. Such symptoms are referred to as paraneoplastic disorders , and they usually occur as a result of the tumor causing alterations in the patient's energy metabolism. Therefore, effects may be seen at sites distant from the actual location of the tumor. Symptoms of paraneoplastic disorders include weight loss, low-grade fever, muscle-weakness and/or seizures, lethargy, loss of appetite, diarrhea, skin rash, hair loss, and general arthritic-like symptoms. Usually, the "wait-and-see" method to diagnose such cancers is inappropriate since by the time these cancers actually become large enough to detect, they have already reached an advanced stage and are unlikely to respond favorably to treatment. Therefore, with these ellusive cancers, specialized diagnostic techniques such as laboratory screening tests and radiologic exams provide a means for earlier diagnosis and perhaps better long-term prognosis for treatment success. Diagnostic Imaging Survey radiography (x-ray) is probably the most common diagnostic imaging tool utilized in veterinary oncology. In many instances, radiographs are adequate for identifying the presence of a definite tumor mass or alterations in 1) position 2) size 3) shape or 4) density of bones, soft tissues, and organs that may indicate the presence of a cancerous growth. In human medicine, use of conventional radiography for identifying the presence of lung metastases is equally effective as imaging with computed tomography (CT).