Feline Bone Cancer
Feline bone cancer is one of the more common types of cancer in cats, and osteosarcoma is the most common kind of feline bone cancer. It is a tumor that often affects the long bones. It is a very aggressive tumor that causes lysis (disintegration of the bone), bone production, or both. There may also be some soft issue involvement. The disease does advance slower in cats than dogs. Also, recent advances in chemotherapy in humans could show promise for cats.
Bone Cancer in Cat Symptoms
Symptoms of bone cancer in cats can mimic those of arthritis, and include stiffness, limping, and pain. Because of the rapid nature of the disease, it is important to seek treatment early. Unfortunately, symptoms often do not arise until the condition is already advanced.
Feline bone cancer is most common in older cats, ten years of age or older. It can, however, occur in younger cats.
Feline Bone Cancer Diagnosis
If your cat has symptoms of bone cancer feline, your vet will take x-rays. Tumors will show up on the x-rays. A biopsy will be necessary to confirm the diagnosis. In this test, a small piece of the affected bone is removed and tested for cancer.
Your vet will also take x-rays of your cat’s chest and abdomen, to see if the cancer has spread to the lungs or the liver. This is important to know because it will make a difference in terms of treatment.
Feline Bone Cancer Treatment
Surgery plus chemotherapy is often the recommended treatment for bone cancer in cats. The affected limb may need to be amputated, or a procedure called limb sparing may be attempted. In this procedure, the affected segment of bone is removed and an allograft (a graft of tissue from a donor of the same species) is then inserted.
Chemotherapy is used to prevent or treat cancer that has metastasized (spread) to other parts of the body. Obviously, treatment is most successful if the cancer is caught before it has spread and if it can be completely removed by surgery.
Radiation is often performed as well, particularly following limb sparing surgery. It is used to control the cancer locally. It is also a good way to treat cancer that cannot be totally excised.
While undergoing treatment for bone cancer, your cat may be experiencing pain. This can and should be treated with pain medication. Other symptoms, such as nausea, may result from chemotherapy. This can also be treated with medication.
Treatment has a good chance of being successful if the tumor can be completely excised. If not, the cat’s life can be prolonged and the quality of life can be improved by treatment. The median survival rate for cats with osteosarcoma is two years, but many cats live much longer.
There has also been some promising clinical results from some herbal ingredients that can contribute to the overall health of your cat. One product that is worth researching and discussion with your veterinarian is PetAlive C-Caps formula for prevention and treatment of cancer.
Osteosarcoma Diagnosis and Treatment
N. Lorica DVM
Treatment of Bone Tumors