Cat Mammary Cancer
Veterinarian Reviewed on April 2, 2014 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
Cat Mammary Cancer
Signs and Symptoms
Did you know that cats can develop mammary cancer? It’s an unfortunate truth that female cat owners need to be extremely aware of. Your cat may appear swollen or it might exhibit an infection. However, the main indicator is the large, firm, rounded bumps that attach themselves to the cat’s skin or muscles and are likely to be found in the front sets of glands as opposed to being found in the rear set. Tumors called malignant adenocarcinomas also appear as well, and they might occur in more than one gland.
Sadly, approximately 80% of mammary tumors that are presented in cats are malignant. In fact, the third most frequently occurring tumor in a feline is a mammary tumor.
Cat owners can relish in the fact that cats less likely than dogs to have mammary cancer. In reality, the actual statistical numbers are that 1 in every 4,000 cats will become ill with mammary cancer.
It is very important for cat owners to be aware of the signs of mammary cancer in their cats because if their cat does develop the disease and the owner is not aware of its presence until much later, the cat will most likely pass away with a year or so of veterinary diagnosis, because the tumors may reappear after removal, making it nearly impossible for a cat to recover completely.
Aggressive treatment is needed
Surgery is the main treatment vets suggest after determining a cat has cancer because the malignant tumors abrasively attack the cat’s system. If your cat has cancer, the vet will sedate your cat and remove each of the tumors, plus the mammary gland that it is attached to. Sometimes, the vet might choose to remove all surrounding mammary glands in an effort to prevent the tumors from spreading further in the cat’s body. The cat’s owner can also choose chemotherapy to treat the cat after the surgery.
Like most cancer’s, feline mammary cancer can be prevented by simply following a few simple steps. As with humans, mammary cancer is something that can affect a cat’s body at random. However, there is some evidence that having Cat Sterilization performed on your cat as early as possible can help prevent the cancer from occurring. It’s a good idea to avoid giving your cat any drugs that contains progesterone, because it can spur on the development of cancer, so ask your vet what ingredients any prescribed drugs actually contain. Additionally, there might be a chance that a cat will survive mammary cancer if a knowledgeable, caring veterinarian examines the feline and discovers the cancer’s presence early on in its initial stages.
Hopefully, your cat will not contract cancer during her lifetime. Older cats (above age ten), Siamese cats, and females who are never spayed are the most likely candidates for cancer, but it’s a smart move to regularly monitor your cat’s health at any age. Overall, maintaining a good relationship with your vet is the best way to make sure your pet is healthy and active for all of the years of her life.
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan