Cancer in cats

Cancer in catsCats can get different types of cancer. Often cancer does not show itself through specific symptoms, but through general signs of disease.

– the fibrosarcoma – the malignant melanoma – the squamous cell carcinoma

The fibrosarcoma – thick tumors

The Fibrosarcoma is a malignant tumor of the connective tie, which often settles deep in the skin and up to the bone. It is the most common type of skin cancer in cats. Typical of feline fibrosarcoma are pink, fleshy, sessile tumors in the cat's mouth, most often located on the gums or the roof of the mouth. Since this type of cancer often spreads to the jaw, fibrosarcoma is also called jaw cancer. Fibrosarcoma in cats can also occur in other parts of the body, for example, on the flank and back.

Often read that a vaccination can cause fibrosarcoma at the injection site. This is not entirely correct, as it is not the vaccination per se, but the tie destruction by the needle that can lead to skin cancer developing at the injection site in cats in rare cases. However, the low risk of skin cancer as a result of vaccination is not a reasonable reason to avoid vaccination, because the cat would remain unprotected against dangerous feline diseases such as cat cold and feline epidemic disease. Malignant melanoma is a malignant tumor of the skin pigment cells. May be pigmented or unpigmented. It is a very aggressive tumor, which often spreads to the bones of the affected cat and in many cases forms metastases.

The tumors are often found on the eye, mouth, ear or nose of the cat. Typical signs of malignant melanoma are enlargement of the eyeball, change in eye color and sensitivity to light (due to pain in the affected eye).

This type of cancer occurs mainly in adult cats, almost never in a young cat. The prognosis of this form of skin cancer is worse than that of fibrosarcoma. Often the cats die from recurrences (relapses). That means that the tumor comes back after surgical removal.

Squamous cell carcinoma: skin cancer in the mouth

Squamous cell carcinoma is a malignant tumor in one layer of the skin. This type of cancer can be recognized by a sessile, fleshy, friable tumor in the cat's mouth that progressively destroys the underlying tie.

This type of cancer, like fibrosarcoma, often spreads to the jaws. However, the behavior of the tumor depends on its localization. The following applies: The further forward in the oral cavity the tumor is located, the less aggressive it is and the lower the risk of metastases. The further towards the throat the squamous cell carcinoma is located, the more aggressive it is.

Diagnosis and differentiation of skin cancer

For the diagnosis and differentiation of the different types of skin cancer in cats, always a Biopsy necessary. X-rays are required to assess jaw involvement.

Tumors of the genitalia

Tumors of the mammary gland (mammary carcinoma) in female cats are rare in contrast to bitches. However, they are malignant in ninety percent of cases. Tumors of the mammary gland in cats must therefore be treated quickly and consistently. The method of choice is complete surgical removal of the mammary gland and associated lymph nodes.

Chances of cure for cat cancer

Whether a cat suffering from cancer can be cured depends on many factors. Prognosis is influenced by factors such as the type of cancer, the location of the tumor, the malignancy, and the time of diagnosis. The earlier a cancer is detected, the better the chances of cure. In the case of a malignant tumor, the decisive factor is whether the cancer is detected before the tumor has begun to metastasize.

Treatment of cancer in cats

The treatment of feline cancer varies depending on the type of cancer:

– The treatment in the Gastrointestinal cancer in cats is usually chemotherapy. The short-term chance of recovery is 90 percent, with a life expectancy of about seven months. Without chemotherapy, the life expectancy of a cat with gastrointestinal cancer is two to six weeks. – Against Blood cancer unfortunately there is no treatment option for cats. – The preferred treatment for Skin cancer and with cancer of the mammary gland is always a complete surgical removal of the tumor, possibly with the support of radiotherapy.

Improvement of the quality of life in cat cancer

The attending veterinarian can advise owners on how to optimize the quality of life of a cat with cancer. Pain caused by tumors, for example, can be effectively treated with classic Painkillers be treated like Metacam.

Please note that cancer is a serious, complex disease. In case of severe diseases, own therapy attempts without consulting the veterinarian as well as treatment attempts with alternative methods such as homeopathy should be refrained from.


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