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Breast Cancer in Cats
Surprisingly, breast cancer in cats constitutes almost all of glandular feline cancers. As much as eighty to ninety six percent of all malignant tumors found in cats. It is also the third most common form of cancer in cats, behind lymphoid cancers and skin cancers.
Although breast cancer in cats is not breed specific, Siamese cats and Japanese breeds seem to be more vulnerable than other cat breeds. Obesity also seems to cause a higher risk factor. In contrast, desexed cats have a significantly reduced risk of developing feline mammary tumors.
Mammary tumors may either be floating or attached to the skin or the underlying muscles and are commonly found in the front set of mammary glands. Swelling, pain or infection in the glands and fever are among the most common symptoms that may indicate prevalence of mammary tumors.
Unless your cat has developed a mammary gland hyperplasia, diagnosis is a simple affair as a mass arising out of the glands can be felt or seen around the nipples. The stage to which breast cancer has advanced is normally established with the aid of laboratory examinations, chest X-Rays or other tests that may be essential.
Bilateral radical surgery, which is the removal of both the mammary chains, is the most recommended treatment for mammary tumors. Follow up of the surgery requires a consultation with a veterinarian oncologist as chemotherapeutic drugs require proper administration and regular monitoring of side effects.
Mammary tumors, like all other glandular tumors are aggressive in nature and tend to spread to lungs and surrounding lymph node. If not detected and treated early, a mammary tumor can even spread to distant organs.
Like any other kind of cancer in dogs, the size of the tumor plays a significant role in the prognosis. Average survival time for cats with a mammary tumor of less than 3 cm is reported to be 21 months and 12 months for those with larger tumors.
It may be difficult to prevent breast cancer in cats. Sometimes it is caused by progesterone or similar drugs used to treat behavioral disorders and military dermatitis, a common occurrence in cats and other pets. The strong correlation between spaying and breast cancer suggests that an early de-sexing can help in prevention of breast cancer.
Prognosis of breast cancer, like any other type of cancer can improve with early treatment. Early treatment depends upon early detection. Signs of breast cancer are not as difficult to notice as other types, like the symptoms of liver cancer in dogs.
Along with regular checkups by a veterinarian, owners should monitor the skin around the mammary area for unusual lumps. It may amount to saving the life of your cat.
Changing A Cat’s Diet May Help
With many health issues in cats as well as in people, an improvement in the diet can sometimes work wonders. If your cat is NOT already eating a raw diet, please consider changing to one. You can read more about this here: Best Food For Cats