What are some of the common types of cat cancer and their symptoms?
Some of the most common cancers we see in cats are gastrointestinal in origin, those that affect the intestines, or maybe even the oral cavity. We can also see some skin cancers. Most often, at home, clients will report that they see an increased frequency of vomiting or diarrhea, or they'll even see some weight loss even though the cat has a really good appetite. In terms of skin cancers, you might notice some new lumps and bumps appearing on the skin that are continuing to grow in size, or they may change in size over time. That would be an indication to have your cat evaluated by your veterinarian.
Christopher Dolan, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)
Central Texas Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Hospital
How will a veterinarian diagnose cancer in my cat?
We use various techniques to diagnose cancer that can range from using common blood tests, or we may even need to do some imaging studies, such as test x-rays or abdominal ultrasounds. In other cases, we need more invasive diagnostics, such as a biopsy, so we can take a piece of tissue and send it to a pathologist for evaluation.
If my cat does have cancer, what type of treatment options may be recommended?
There are three main treatment options for cancer, surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Which of those we prefer will depend greatly on the actual type of cancer your cat is diagnosed with. That's something we would talk about in a consultation to say, okay, here is the kind of cancer your cat has. Here are the different treatment options that we have, along with the pros and cons of each.
Why is early detection and diagnosis of cancer in cats so important?
We want to find cancer and intervene as early as possible. We know that the majority of these cancers can either progress locally and cause pain or discomfort or spread to other parts of the body. So the earlier we can intervene, the better chance we have of stopping those bad side effects from occurring or slowing down the progression of this disease to other parts of the body.
How will cancer impact my cat's health and quality of life?
Overall, in most cats with cancer, we notice that they have just slowed down with some lethargy, or we see those clinical signs you mentioned before, such as increased vomiting, diarrhea, or weight loss. Overall, people just report their cat doesn't feel as good as they normally do. The goal of our therapies is to get your cat back to their best self and have an improved quality of life for as long as we possibly can. If you have any concerns that your cat might have some of these signs, we would recommend that you first be seen by your primary care veterinarian, and if they see any evidence of cancer, they're welcome to consult with us and refer you for a consultation.
If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (512) 892-9038, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media http://facebook.com/CentralTexasVeterinarySpecialtyHospitalAustin, https://www.instagram.com/ctvseh_/