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Cancer ABCs: Aspirates, Biopsies, and Cytology

Frustrated by aspirates, nondiagnostic samples, and best practices for skin masses? Most skin and subcutaneous tumors can be cured with surgery alone if diagnosed early, when tumors are small. To do this, we need to identify and diagnose skin and superficial masses with aspirates and biopsies when they are more treatable. See something? Do Something. Why Wait? Aspirate® is a cancer-awareness program to do just that. In this presentation, we will go over the guidelines and unpack the common lumps and bumps on cytology. We will review techniques for aspirates and biopsies with a focus on a practical approach to cancer cytology, to improve your skills determining whether a mass is benign or malignant, as well as the tissue of origin. Case examples will be presented. #whwaitaspirate


  • Learn how to incorporate aspirates and biopsies in early cancer detection of skin and subcutaneous in dogs and cats
  • Get practical tips and tools to involve pet owners in monitoring their pets
  • Review methods of fenestration and aspiration, tips for successful cytology, and when to biopsy.
  • Review cancer cytology, including the criteria of malignancy and the four categories of neoplastic cytology, focusing on cytology commonly seen in practice


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Sue Ettinger, DVM, DACVIM

sue ettinger

Sue Ettinger is a practicing veterinary cancer specialist, international speaker, book author, and YouTube vlogger (video blogger) with a popular Facebook page that has more than 40,000 fans. A dynamic and engaging speaker, she was voted the 2019 Western Veterinary Conference Small Animal Continuing Educator of the Year. She is one of approximately 450 board-certified specialists in medical oncology in North America and currently practices at Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center in Norwalk, Connecticut. She is co-founder and chief medical officer of Fidu, a teleconsulting company bringing together general practice veterinarians and boarded veterinary specialists. She received her veterinary training at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and did her residency in medical oncology at the Animal Medical Center in NYC.

She is most passionate about raising cancer awareness and has developed “See Something, Do Something, Why Wait? Aspirate.®” to promote early cancer detection and diagnosis. She is a frequent contributor to Today’s Veterinary Practice, Today’s Veterinary Business, Clinician’s Brief, Veterinary Team Brief, and DVM360.