Clean Margins

Following surgery, your oncologist may say your dog has “clean margins.” This means there is no sign of cancer outside of the tumor that was removed. Your dog is likely to be in remission following removal with clean margins.

What Do Clean Margins Mean?

Clean margins are the distance between cancerous tissue and healthy tissue around a tumor. When doctors remove cancerous tissue, they want to make sure that they have not left any cancer cells behind. This is important because if there is any leftover cancer in your body after surgery, it could grow into a new tumor or metastasize to other parts of your body.

If you have surgery to remove your cancerous tumor, your surgeon will try to get as clean of a margin as possible—meaning that they try to remove all of the tumor along with healthy tissue around it so there isn’t any risk of leaving behind any cancer cells.

The surgeon will take a sample of the tissue around the tumor and send it to a pathologist who will examine it under a microscope. They’ll look at how far into healthy tissue the cancer has spread, and if they find any remaining cancer cells after surgery, they’ll know that clean margins have not been achieved and will recommend additional treatment.

Published by AmberLDrake

Dr. Drake is an award-winning author and well-known cancer specialist in her field. She is best known for her extensive research on canine cancer prevention and nutrition, her dedication to help dogs live a long, happy life, and for teaching veterinary medicine. As the CEO of Canine Companions Co., the Founder of Drake Dog Cancer Foundation and Academy, and the Co-Founder of Preferable Pups, in addition to being a respected figure in the dog world, she has earned the respect of thousands of dog lovers worldwide.