Feline Lymphoma is one of the most common types of cat cancer. This type of feline cancer is usually associated with the Feline Leukemia Virus. Occasionally the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus has been implicated. Testing cats to document the presence or absence of infection with the Feline Leukemia Virus [FELV] has significantly reduced the prevalence of FELV in cats in this country.
Cat Lymphoma cancer may occur in a variety of sites including: your cat’s gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, chest, and/or spleen.
A combination of 5 chemotherapy drugs is reported to be the most effective method to treat most types of cat lymphoma cancer. Radiation therapy and surgery, along with chemotherapy, are used to treat the more localized forms of feline lymphoma (such as intra-nasal or ocular.)Treatment goals are to improve quality of life by achieving remission with minimal toxicity and side effects from the drugs.
Feline Lymphoma Causes:
Viruses: Primarily Feline Leukemia Virus, occasionally infection with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus predisposes cats to develop Lymphoma. Second hand smoke has been implicated in the gastrointestinal form of feline lymphoma in cats. Carcinogens from smoke land on the cat’s fur, and when the cat grooms himself, they are ingested.
Signs of Feline Lymphoma Cancer?
Signs usually correlate with the specific area of the body involved. In general symptoms are those of a sick cat and Feline Lymphoma Cancer may include appetite loss, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and as time progresses weight loss.
How do Vets Diagnose Feline Lymphoma Cancer?
Signs and history, along with comprehensive blood testing, a urinalysis, and x-rays with or without ultrasound.
Definitive Diagnosis of Feline Lymphoma Cancer is usually confirmed with a biopsy.
Staging of Feline Lymphoma Cancer involves blood tests, x-rays, and biopsy results to determine the magnitude of the cancer.
How is Feline Lymphoma Cancer treated?
Feline lymphoma cancer is treatable but not curable. Traditionally, chemotherapy, both oral and injectable along with radiation, with or without surgery, is the standard. Exact therapy will depend on the stage and extent of the cancer along with the cats overall health status and organ involvement. Side effects of chemotherapy may include appetite loss, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy for a few days following treatment. These effects usually self-limit. Occasionally, the dose of the chemotherapeutic agents must be reduced to lessen negative side effects.
Alternative natural therapy for feline lymphoma cancer includes nutritional therapy, along with oral and injectable vitamins, glutathione, herbal preparations and immuno-therapy. In this veterinarians experience quality of life and survival time greatly exceed those found with traditional treatments.
What is the Prognosis for Feline Lymphoma Cancer?
Survival time can vary from a few months to over a year in some cases. Cats also positive for the Feline Leukemia Virus have a poor prognosis.