Cat cancer is characterized by a malignant or cancerous tumor that can be life threatening for your feline. Fortunately, some abnormalities that are detected, verified by the veterinarian and analyzed in the laboratory are the result of a benign tumor. In this case, no need to panic.
But what about the different forms of cat cancer? And what treatments exist? Be well informed if your cat becomes seriously ill so that you can deal with the cancer in the best possible way.
This is the most common form of cancer in cats. White blood cells are affected (cells of the immune system): lymphocytes. All organs can be affected (lymph nodes, kidneys, spleen, intestines…).
The signs of digestive lymphoma are vomiting, unusual diarrhea, and even intestinal obstruction. In this case, chemotherapy is necessary and the results are usually positive.
This malignant tumor looks like a lump under the skin, usually located between the shoulder blades. It can be removed surgically, reducing this aggressive form of cancer to a painless one.
Older cats are frequently affected by these malignant tumors. However, spaying or neutering reduces the risk of cancer in young cats. The pill is strongly discouraged, as it multiplies these health problems.
Squamous cell carcinoma
White-haired cats are mainly targeted, especially their nose and ear tips. Prolonged exposure to the sun promotes this type of cancer, so sun protection is essential.
Symptoms of cancer in cats
The earlier you intervene in your cat’s cancer management, the better chance your cat has of recovering from the disease and achieving optimal healing. Here are some signs that should alert you to probable cat cancer, which only a veterinarian can diagnose in the office.
- Loss of appetite: Your cat is eating much less and getting thinner by the day;
- Asthenia: your fur ball seems tired all the time, despite its numerous naps, and has no energy for its daily escapades;
- Vomiting and diarrhea: the abdomen and digestive system may be affected if your cat is vomiting repeatedly and suffering from acute diarrhea;
- Blood loss: If your cat is losing blood for no apparent reason, contact your veterinarian promptly for consultation;
- Disturbed mobility and dizziness: your feline loses his balance and lacks physical strength to move;
- Appearance of nodules or lumps under the skin: it is important to palpate your cat regularly, as these small, seemingly discreet and painless lumps may imply cancer.
Treatment of cat cancer
A biopsy is used to analyze the severity of the tumor. This will allow the doctor to make a definite commitment to the prognosis. If surgery is necessary for the comfort of the cat’s life, it will allow the removal of the tumor, provided that it has not spread completely.
Radiation or chemotherapy will reduce the remaining cancer cells if the tumor is not completely removed. Chemotherapy is relatively well tolerated by the cat and is effective in slowing the progression of the disease. The side effects are not comparable to those in humans.
Radiation therapy is performed during or after surgery. The cat is hospitalized for several days in a veterinary clinic.
The cat’s genetics and environment (lifestyle, diet, sedentary or active) reflect the major risk factors for cancer.
Only a veterinarian will make the diagnosis of cat cancer. You must follow the doctor’s advice to the letter in order to give your cat the best chance of recovery. In the worst case, palliative care will support your cat so that he or she can go peacefully with as little pain as possible.