April 24, 2024

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What are the Common Types of Cancer in Cats?

What are the Common Types of Cancer in Cats? How to Protect Your Beloved Cat from Cancer?



 What are the Common Types of Cancer in Cats? Cancer is the Number One Cause of Death in Cats! How to Protect Your Beloved Cat from Cancer?

In recent years, the average lifespan of cats kept as pets has been increasing. However, on the other hand, the death rate of cats due to cancer remains high.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in cats, so it’s important for cat owners to be aware of common types of cancer in cats.

Here, we will introduce three common types of cancer in cats and methods to protect your cat from cancer. This information is a must-see for cat owners.

What are the Common Types of Cancer in Cats? How to Protect Your Beloved Cat from Cancer?


Three Common Types of Cancer in Cats 1.1 Mammary Gland Cancer Mammary gland cancer is a malignant tumor that develops in the mammary gland.

It is the most common cancer in women and is also common in cats, especially in females around 12 years old (99% are females).

More than 80% of the tumors are considered “malignant,” and once the cancer progresses to the point of rupture and ulceration (self-destruction), it becomes difficult to cure.

Therefore, for early detection, it is important to massage the cat’s mammary glands regularly to be able to detect any “lumps.” If the cancer is found when the diameter is less than 2cm, there is a high possibility of living longer.

【Symptoms】

  • Lumps
  • (When metastasizing) Weight loss/loss of appetite

【Sites where tumors can develop】

  • Mammary gland

【Prevention】

  • Spaying

※ Spaying does not guarantee 100% prevention of mammary gland cancer, but since mammary gland cancer is also influenced by hormonal balance, it is effective to undergo spaying at an early stage if possible.

If spaying is performed within 6 months of birth, the rate of reduction in the incidence of mammary gland cancer is 91%, and if spaying is performed by 1 year of age, the rate of reduction in incidence is 86%.

However, if spaying is performed after 2 years of age, the effect of suppressing mammary gland cancer is lost, so it is preferable to undergo spaying early if you do not wish to have kittens.

1.2 Mast Cell Tumor A mast cell tumor refers to a tumor in which “mast cells” become tumor-like.

When it comes to mast cells, it is often thought to be a disease that affects “slightly overweight cats,” but this name was given because the cells appear swollen due to granules being packed into the cells, and it has nothing to do with the cat’s body shape.

It is a cancer that is often seen in older cats and is common in breeds such as Siamese, Ragdoll, Maine Coon, and Russian Blue.

There are two types of mast cell tumors: those that occur on the skin (cutaneous type) and those that occur in the internal organs (visceral type), even though they are both mast cell tumors, they are completely different.

  • Cutaneous type

One or more lumps resembling warts may appear on the skin. It is said that 25% of skin tumors are “cutaneous mast cell tumors,” and with appropriate treatment, it can be almost completely cured.

  • Visceral type

Although it is called visceral type, it mainly occurs in the spleen (rarely in the intestines). Unlike the cutaneous type mentioned above, it is difficult to notice any changes in appearance, making early detection difficult.

【Symptoms】 Cutaneous type: wart-like growths, inflammation, swelling, etc. Visceral type: decreased energy and appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal fluid, chest fluid, etc.

【Sites where tumors are likely to develop】 Cutaneous type: head, neck, ears, feet Visceral type: spleen, rarely intestines

【Prevention】 There is no specific prevention method, but it is important to be able to notice even minor changes in the cat’s condition. There are many things you can do, such as monitoring the condition of the skin, recording appetite, and undergoing regular health check-ups.

1.3 Squamous Cell Carcinoma Squamous cell carcinoma refers to a tumor in which squamous epithelial cells that make up the skin and mucous membranes become tumor-like. Therefore, it can occur anywhere on the skin or mucous membranes, and in cats, it is particularly common in the mouth and facial skin.

It is more likely to occur in older cats. In the case of tumors on the skin, exposure to ultraviolet rays is also a factor, so it is more common in cats that like sunbathing or white cats.

Also, squamous cell carcinoma in the mouth is one of the difficult cancers to treat because it spreads forcefully (infiltrates) to the surrounding area, and in most cases, it has already progressed by the time it is found.

It is said that about half of the cancers found in the mouth are squamous cell carcinomas.

【Symptoms】 In the skin: scabs, dryness, ulcers, persistent skin inflammation, etc. In the mouth: oral ulcers, loose teeth, ulcers, decreased appetite, weight loss, facial asymmetry, etc.

【Sites where tumors are likely to develop】 Skin: tips of the ears, nose, eyelids, etc. Oral cavity: gums, oral mucosa, tongue, lips, oral mucosa on the cheeks, etc.

【Prevention】 Unfortunately, there is no specific prevention method for this disease either.

Therefore, it is important to carefully observe any changes in the cat’s skin that do not heal completely, or the presence of growths in the mouth, and strive for early detection.


2. How to Protect Your Cat from Cancer? Just like human cancer, there is no specific prevention method for cat cancer, so “early detection and early treatment” are key to protecting your cat from cancer.

First, it is recommended to undergo a health check-up once a year from a young age, and twice a year after the age of 7.

If there is a plan that includes X-ray examinations and ultrasound examinations, it is good to undergo them, but since the cost also increases, it is also good to decide after consulting with a veterinarian.

Another method is self-check at home. At least once a month, perform a health check on your cat at home. For specific check methods, refer to “How to Check Your Cat’s Health at Home [Veterinarian’s Explanation].”

And one symptom common to all cancers is “weight loss.” Therefore, even if you are prone to forgetting self-checks, try to check your weight regularly.

In the case of cats, it is considered that there is an abnormality if the weight decreases by more than 10% of the healthy weight.

However, since most home scales cannot measure to the nearest gram, it is preferable to prepare a scale that can measure in units of 10 to 50 grams if possible.


Summary This time, we explained three common representative cancers in cats (mammary gland cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, mast cell tumor).

Although there are various other types of cancer in cats besides those introduced this time, early detection and early treatment are important for any cancer.

For the early detection of cat cancer, it is important not to neglect daily health management, undergo regular medical check-ups, and perform appropriate diet and exercise.

To ensure the health and longevity of your beloved cat, the attentiveness of us owners is crucial.

What are the Common Types of Cancer in Cats? How to Protect Your Beloved Cat from Cancer?


References:

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/expert/articles/54ab3e19dfb88747bee470f92e903c6f094a7db3

(source:internet, reference only)

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Important Note: The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.