What Feline Squamous Cell Carcinoma Is
Feline sqaumous cell carcinoma is a malignant cancer that frequently affects the skin, feet and mouth of a cat. There have been cases of the disease in eyes, lungs and bladder, but these locations are not as common as others.
Video: Squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth in cats
The growth of cancerous tumors occurs when the epithelial cells that line skin, faces, intestines and urinary tracts begin to grow unchecked. This creates the tumor.
Cat owners who smoke increase their feline`s chance of cancer in the mouth by 400%, and cats that are washed regularly with flea shampoo have a 90% reduction in the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma. Oral carcinomas have also been linked with wet food consumption, as wet food causes poor dental hygiene.
Though the disease primarily affects older cats, felines of any age can develop squamous cell carcinoma. The prognosis of your cat`s tumor is best if the tumor is discovered early and treated while still in the first stages of development.
Symptoms of Squamous Cell Carcinoma
The most noticeable symptom of feline squamous cell carcinoma is the growth. Though the appearance of the tumor is variable, some look like sores or raised bumps on the skin of your cat. If you see a red raised area or a sore on the skin of your cat, contact your vet.
Video: Cat with Squamous Cell Carcinoma - Alexa
The location of the tumor can provide symptoms as well. A cat with a tumor on its foot will favor other feet while walking. Cats with tumors on their face will have discharge from the nose and will appear deformed.
How Feline Squamous Cell Carcinoma Is Diagnosed
After bringing your cat in to be looked at, your vet will examine cells from the tumor by aspiration or biopsy in order to determine whether or not they are cancerous. Additional tests will be done on urine and blood, and your vet will inspect the lymph nodes to find out if the cancer has metastasized. This will resolve the stage of your cat`s cancer.
Where to Find Symptoms
One of the most overlooked areas that develop carcinoma is your cat`s mouth. Become accustomed to checking the gums and teeth of your pet by looking in your feline`s mouth. Symptoms of oral squamous cell carcinoma include frequent dental extractions needed, the swelling of jawbones, failure of gums to heal and odor. The prognosis of an oral tumor is best if the growth is at the front of the lower jaw, as this can be removed.
White haired cats are thirteen times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma on skin than colored cats as their skin is not protected from sun by pigment. Check the ears, nose, eyelids and head of your cat. Slight irritations and scabs may look innocent, but may be an early stage of carcinoma.