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cat cancer?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
im new to this site and wanted any information anyone could give on cat cancer. my cat is a 15 year old indoor cat, who has never had any health problems except for his teeth. a few years ago his face swelled up a bit and he scratched the spot till the fur came off. we brought him to the vet, they said it was a tooth problem, took care of it, and the swelling went down. a month or so ago, his face started to swell again. we took him, they again said it was a tooth issue, removed it, cleaned the rest, said they saw no signs of a tumor, and told us to let them know if the swelling didnt go down in a week or so. it didnt, we brought him back, the vet felt his face a little and claimed it to be cancer.

it's been about 2-3 weeks since we got this diagnosis. we decided not to spend the hundreds of dollars to give him the screening to find out if its actually cancer, as he's kind of old and hates being transported around, plus they said they dont like to sedate old cats if they can help it. even if he has it, we could never afford the thousdands of dollars treatment that wouldnt save him. we decided to just watch him and when his quality of life decreased, to take the right action.

2 weeks or so in i was optimistic, his behavior did not change and the swelling didn't appear to get worse. but over the last week, it has increased, he drools out of the side of his mouth that the swelling is on. however, he's still completely the same. he seriously acts as if he doesn't even realize it's there.

what's the deal here? does he have cancer? if so, when would it start to pain him? how long before he acts different? he still seems to be eating and drinking. any feedback is appreciated. im so scared to lose him forever, im a 23 year old college guy and hes been my best bud since i was 8. ive started to accept that he may go very soon, but i just wanted to know if anyone had any answers.... thank you...
post #2 of 10
Hi there. It seems to me that you don't really have any definitive diagnosis that you can trust. He could have a cyst, or an abscess. Cats are good at hiding pain, I had a cat who had swelling on his face and it turned out to be a series of cysts that were removable. He did eventually die of cancer, but years later. You love this cat, he is your buddy, I think you owe it to him to get an Xray done and then at least you can be sure what you are dealing with and can make the right decision. Good luck to you and to him.
post #3 of 10
Hi, thezakattac. I agree with Jenny. Get the second opinion. If it isn't cancer and there is something you can do about it you should.

If it is cancer and there's nothing which can affordably be done, it may be time to thank him for those fifteen years (a good age) of friendship which you have shared and prepare for the end which could still be months away. You'll know when he's no longer happy.

I lost my furry best friend Twiggy to throat cancer a few years back in her tenth year and it was very hard on both my wife and I. It takes time, but the pain subsides and many good memories remain. Twiggy's first tumor was found on one of her ovaries when she was seven months old and getting her hysterectomy. The vet at the Humane Society said they usually put cats down right away when they see this, but I'm glad for the nine more years we had together.

post #4 of 10
Get a second opinion... many vets wont even charge for a second opinion
post #5 of 10
What I'm learning is that Cancer in cats can be difficult to locate, but in your case it seems that it's obvious where the cancer is located. I think if it's bothering you a second opinon is a good idea. I'm also wondering what kind of surgeory they are talking about and would a fine needle biopsy be possible and more cost effective? That being said....

I don't think anyone can pass judgement on you based on what you decide to do. Your cat has lived 15 wonderful years, and no one but you can know for sure what the right decision is. I know this sounds like a cop-out, but my Jordan might have cancer (he's only 4). My experience has been that everyone has an opinon on what I should do, but ultimately I'm the one that has to live with my decisions. These decisions are so very hard, all I or anyone else can really do is offer what we would do, an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on.
post #6 of 10
I would definitely get a second opinion, there is no way you can diagnose cancer just by looking at it.
I'd find a vet that could do a core biopsy as that would be the quickest and most reliable way to diagnose cancer.

15 is old, but it really isn't all that old if your cat is otherwise healthy.
post #7 of 10
I don't know if you need a second vet's opinion, but if you really want to know if it is cancer, you need to have a biopsy done. Xrays won't prove cancer one way or the other.

I had a dog with a similar problem and we asked for a biopsy. While the vet was in there, he removed the entire mass and sent it to a lab for results. It came back as cancer and she was given 30 days to live. But because the vet removed the entire mass during the biopsy, she lasted 18 months.

If it is cancer, removing the lump could give him a better quality of life for a while. If it is not, it might be something very easy to treat and give him comfort. If the swelling continues, he will be in pain and believe me, you don't want to go through that with him.

post #8 of 10
We went through this recently. You need to have a biopsy done to get a diagnosis. Our vet used X-ray to see what it looked like, but we still had to have Raven biopsied. The x-ray can show if there are changes in the bones from a tumor. It does take a few days to get the results though.

I really hope your kitty does not have cancer. If he does, I hope it is treatable.
post #9 of 10
Hello, This Is My First Posting. My 10 Year Old Siamese Was Diagnosed With Mammary Adenocarcinoma, In Lament Terms, Breast Cancer. My Vet Said We Caught It Early, The Mass Was Smaller Than A Centimeter In Size. I Consulted With A Vet Oncologist Today, Xray And Ultrasound Showed No Massess, Thank God. Vets Assessement Is Radical Mastecomy Follow-up With Chemotherapy. This Is Not A Gaurantee That It Wont Come Back. If I Do Nothing, In Most Cases Shows It Comes Back And Worse. Financially I Cant Afford It. But I Would Gladly Put Myself Into More Dept If I Knew This Would Cure Her. The Fact Is There Is No Way Of Knowing What The Outcome Would Be Either Way. Am I Doing This For Her Or For Me? Do I Really Want To Put Her Through It Just For It Not To Work? I Dont Know What To Do. Please Help, I Need Some Advise
post #10 of 10
One of my cats Bobber had a basal cell carcinoma removed from her face earlier this year. It was biopsied and found that entire tumor was removed. It wasn't really to big but the vet slightly damaged a nerve to her eye while removing it. This was unavoidable but the damage was slight-some difficulty in closing at times-doesn't seem to bother her and I have drops for her eye if needed.
She also had another tumor under the armpit of her front right leg-yes it was also cancer-breat cancer. The biopsy proved that all was removed and recovery went well.
No further treatment need just watch to see if any other lumps appear.
The total cost wasn't too bad around $350-$400 if I remember.
Bobber is 8 yrs old. We were surprised when the vet called after surgery and said they were cancerous-the breast mass bobber had was larger than a centimeter and the lump had been there for several months before it got larger. Sometimes just a simple procedure is needed.
Hope this helps.
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