Posted on: 29 June 2020
One of the things you never want to have happen to your precious feline companion is for them to develop a serious health condition. However, there are several such conditions that can affect cats. One of those is lymphosarcoma (also known as lymphoma). As a cat owner, it is important to know as much as you can about lymphosarcoma in cats, including the signs of this form of cancer and what can be done about it. Then, if you notice any of the clinical signs of lymphosarcoma in your cat, you can be sure to get them to a veterinarian as soon as possible for testing and treatment.
What Is Lymphosarcoma?
Lymphosarcoma is the most common type of cancer in cats. It primarily affects the lymphatic system, made up of a system of lymph nodes and vessels that circulate throughout the body. The main purpose of the lymphatic system is to remove fluids and waste from the body as well as to produce cells vital to the immune system.
Specifically, lymphosarcoma is a tumor that affects lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are white blood cells and are the primary form of defense in the body's immune system.
Because the lymph vessels travel all throughout the body, a lymphatic system cancer can spread quickly and extensively. And when the lymphocytes are affected, they are carried throughout the body by the blood vessels as well. As such, this form of cancer is quite serious and can be deadly to cats.
What Are the Signs of Lymphosarcoma?
Often, unfortunately, lymphosarcoma can go on undetected for a long period of time. This is because the signs of the cancer are somewhat hard to pinpoint to one specific issue or condition.
Appetite loss is one of the most common signs of lymphosarcoma in cats. Your cat may also begin losing weight for no apparent reason (even if they are eating normally). Cats with lymphosarcoma can also become less energetic or even lethargic. Vomiting can also be a sign.
And if external lymph nodes are the site of lymphosarcoma tumors, you may notice a lump under your cat's skin.
What Can Be Done about Lymphosarcoma?
If you notice any of the aforementioned signs of lymphosarcoma in your cat, you should take them to the veterinarian right away. They will run blood tests and do a physical exam. If lumps are present, they will also likely do a biopsy. X-rays can also be a way to detect tumors in the body.
A biopsy of the tumor, whether external or internal, is the only way to definitively diagnosed lymphosarcoma. Once the tumor and cancer are confirmed, treatment primarily involves chemotherapy. Sometimes, your veterinarian may also recommend surgery or radiation therapy, but these are not as commonly used in treating lymphosarcoma.
Now that you know more about lymphosarcoma and lymphoma in cats, you can be sure you get your cat to the veterinarian at the first possible signs of this disease.Share