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Cat cancer

Feline Cancer

Just as with humans, there are various types of cancer in cats.

The biggest problem in dealing with cancers in animals is that the mortality rates are usually quite high unless detected early. The major problem lies in the fact that animals can’t talk and tell us when they are sick or feel off and by the time a problem is visible it is already too late. This is a major drawback in cat cancer treatment and most pet owners are usually advised that they should spend the most amount of time that they can with their pets as the time they will have together is limited.

A cancer in cats shows symptoms like a lump, discoloration on the skin, fatigue, pain, and blood in the urine, sputum, and other bodily fluids.

Types of Cancer in Cats

The cancers that can occur in cats include cancers of the bladder, bone, skin, nose, stomach, liver, intestines, mammary glands, lymphomas, and sarcomas. Most of these cancers can be controlled quite a bit with the use of invasive surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Lymphomas are the only types of cancer that cannot be cured in any way by these known methods of treatment.

This is because lymphomas are fast growing tumors that have the ability to cross over all over the body. To put this in perspective, once diagnosed, if proper treatment is not given, mortality is achieved in a matter of months. Surgery is a rather straightforward matter of locating the tumor and removing it from the body. Chemotherapy is a process that is used where the fast growing tissues of the body like the cancerous tissue take up a high amount of the anticancer drugs killing it off. Radiation therapy or radiotherapy works by firing radiation to the area of a tumor and ionizing the water in the tissues of the tumor. This sets off a chain reaction of destruction of tumor DNA. Immunotherapy works by inducing an immune system response into the area of the cancer. This is basically manipulating the natural body process of auto-immunity to destroy cancerous tissues.

In the normal body, mistakes in cell division and damage to DNA can cause mutations to cells. It is the job of the immune system to identify these aberrant cells and destroy them. What immunotherapy does is to replicate this very effect by inflaming certain areas near the tumor to alert the immune system to its presence.

  Submitted on April 16, 2010  

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