It is estimated that 1 in every 5 cats develop cancer at some point in its life. Although this may seem a dire outlook, not all cancers are the same and many cats complete treatment without any significant complications. However, knowing the common types of cat cancer can help you catch it early and get the right treatment.
Lymphoma is a cancer in the blood that humans can have, too. Lymphoma refers to the uncontrollable multiplication of white blood cells, or lymphocytes, which help fight against infection. Lymphocytes are in different places in the body, so lymphoma can develop in these various locations such as the lymph nodes, intestines, kidneys, etc. This cancer is the most common kind in cats. It is treatable but not always curable.
While feline leukemia virus was the leading cause of lymphoma at one point, the FeLV vaccine now keeps the virus at bay.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), a type of skin cancer and oral cancer, is more prevalent in cats sensitive to sun exposure. White or light-haired cats and hairless cats are more susceptible to the sun’s harmful rays. However, cats of any kind can develop SCC on the more exposed parts of their skin, like their ears, nose, and eyelids. It also shows up in the mouth. Thankfully, doctors are developing better ways to treat this aggressive cancer.
Fibrosarcoma is a cancer that develops in fibrous connective tissues, creating a tumor. It is not completely understood what might cause this cancer, but it has been associated with sites of inflammation in the cat’s tissue. Previously we would see it regularly with certain vaccines. Thankfully, safer vaccines have been developed making this cancer much rarer.
Chemotherapy, surgery, and/or radiation help cats fight this aggressive disease.
More likely to develop in older, female cats, mammary cancer causes fast-metastasizing tumors. Early detection can be curative as some non-cancerous mammary masses can change into cancerous masses. The risk of mammary cancer is much less if the cat is spayed early on. Surgery followed by chemotherapy can remove the tumor and chance of returning cancer completely.
If your cat has been diagnosed with cancer, it is good to familiarize yourself with the common symptoms and to take your cat to the vet regularly to address treatment, testing, and other concerns or questions.
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At Everhart Veterinary Medicine, our veterinary professionals strive to provide your pet with the very best of veterinary care. We believe that the best care for your pet should be provided by experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals. With two Maryland locations in both Baltimore and Pasadena, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131 or 410-793-7670! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest!