Basic Information About Cat Cancer

September 26, 2009

in Cats

Cat cancer is a legitimate concern of cat owners. A cat’s life can be significantly shortened by cat cancer. Not all tumors are cancerous. If a cat shows any signs of cancer, the cat should be examined promptly by a veterinarian.

Cancer causes almost fifty percent of pet deaths. The causes of cat cancer are not well understood.

Other diseases can also cause many of the signs and symptoms of cat cancer. Cat owners need to have cats properly diagnosed and treated if the cat shows any signs of cat cancer. Prompt treatment for cancer often gives the cat the best chances of survival.

Abnormal and persistent swelling and weight loss are common signs of cancer in cats. Loss of appetite, stiffness or lameness, a wound that will not heal or has abnormal discharge, and difficulty urinating, defecating, breathing, or swallowing are signs of cat cancer.

There are many different types of cat cancer. White cats are susceptible to developing skin cancer especially on their ears. Other types of cat cancer include lymphoma, mammary cancer, and bone cancer.

Some cats have developed cancer in the area where they have received vaccinations. Vaccine-associated sarcoma (VAS) is a relatively new health concern. If the cat owner notices any lump at the site where the cat has received vaccination injections, the cat owner should take the cat to be examined by the veterinarian to determine if this is normal swelling or vaccine-associated sarcoma.

One type of cancer that is more common in cats than dogs is lymphoma. Lymphoma is a type of cancer that most commonly affects the lymph nodes. Cats with feline leukemia virus (FeLV) have an elevated risk of lymphoma.

A veterinarian considers the type and severity of the cancer to determine the best treatment for the cat cancer. Blood tests, biopsies, ultrasound, physical exams, and x-rays may be used to diagnose cat cancer.

Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are methods of treatment for cat cancer. Treatment for cat cancer often includes pain management. Some preventative measures for cat cancer have been identified. Cats, especially white cats, should not spend excessive amounts of time in the sun which could cause skin cancer. The risk of mammary cancer is significantly reduced if the cat is spayed while it is young.

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