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Cancer in Cats

 
Cancer. That's a diagnosis nobody wants to hear. Sadly, as cats live longer, more cats also get cancer. Cats are diagnosed with cancer less often than dogs, but a cat has cancer is often more dangerous than with dogs.
Another frustrating fact is that cats are very good at hiding illnesses and too often a problem is not detected until the cancer is quite advanced. But there is good news - more and more options are becoming available for cats who are diagnosed with cancer. The most important thing for you to do as a cat owner is to be aware of the risks and symptoms. Regular visits to your veterinarian are a must. Your vet can often detect a problem before you can, so it's important to take your cat for a checkup on a regular basis. It can be difficult to detect when your cat is not feeling well, but some symptoms of illness include vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, loss of appetite, weight loss, and lethargy. You may also see a bump or lump on your cat's body. If you notice your cat is displaying any of these symptoms, I recommend that you consult with your vet. If your vet suspects that your cat has a form of cancer, you may need to have some tests done to find out what kind of cancer it is. Some of the most common types of cancer that afflict cats are lymphoma (cancer of the white blood cells), oral squamous carcinoma (cancer of the cells lining the lips and oral cavity), and tumors in various parts of the cat's body. To determine the type of cancer, a biopsy may be done on tissues from the affected area. If your cat is diagnosed with a specific type of cancer, there are a number of options for treatment. There have been many breakthroughs in recent years that can mean a successful recovery for your cat. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Surgery may be done for any tumors that can be removed when the cancer is still in an early stage. Radiation therapy is a good option for tumors that cannot be surgically removed, like in the nose or brain. If the cat's cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, or if it is an aggressive form of cancer, chemotherapy can be used. Unfortunately, the costs of all these procedures are still very high. There may be more options for battling cancer in cats now, but many cat owners simply cannot afford them. Prices can vary depending on where you go but a biopsy or diagnosis.

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