By Nan Talleno
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Like people, cats can also develop abnormal cells with unrestrained and uncontrolled cell division that grow and replicate in the form of cancer or cancerous tumors. Felines may be susceptible to a variety of types of cancer but predominantly skin cancer, feline mammary tumors, feline lymphoma, lymphosarcoma, liver, spleen, pancreatic and kidney cancers. Mammary tumors tend to develop in older cats.
Just like in humans, these can be caused for various reasons including environmental toxins, second-hand smoke, genetics, viruses, etc. Diagnosis typically involves blood tests, imaging studies, and a biopsy.
External cancers that can be felt or seen on the surface, such as the skin, are much easier to detect than internal cancers. So, you should monitor for any new lumps and observe any changes in texture, color or a mass.
Unfortunately, internal signs may not always be present while at other times, signs of reduced appetite, reduced energy, weight loss, poor quality of coat, lack of grooming, lethargic behavior, vomiting, diarrhea, pale membranes, difficulty in breathing, or trouble in mobility may occur.
To be safe, it’s always best to have an annual checkup appointment scheduled with your vet because regardless of the type of cancer, earlier diagnosis means a much better chance of treatment and a better chance of a positive outcome.