Have you ever heard of squamous cell carcinoma in cats? The name may sound difficult, but it is a very common problem in cat health and can be simplified into a few words: skin cancer (or skin tumour in cats). Yes, that's right: just like humans, cats can also suffer from some types of cancer, and so it is important to be very attentive to any skin cancer in cats.To better understand what this condition is, how to identify it and what is the best type of treatment, we talked to veterinarian Leonardo Soares, who specializes in veterinary oncology.
What is Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Cats?
As the specialist explains, carcinoma in cats is a malignant neoplasm that originates in epithelial tissue cells called keratinocytes. "It is a very common skin cancer in cats, but it can also occur in oral mucosa or eyelids," he explains.
This type of skin tumor in cats can happen for different reasons, but one of the main causes is undoubtedly constant exposure to the sun's rays without proper skin protection. In addition, the veterinarian points out that chronic lesions can also generate a carcinoma in cats. "There is no predisposed breed, the predisposition is in the color of the hair, so that animals with furclear has a greater tendency to develop the neoplasm," he concludes.See_also: See infographic on the stages of cat pregnancy
What are the symptoms of this type of skin cancer in cats?
It is important to know every bit of your kitten's body to know how to identify the disease. "Usually this neoplasm comes in the form of ulcers on the ears, nasal plan or eyelids, but it can occur anywhere on the feline's body. The main clinical sign is a wound that does not heal completely, sometimes it shows improvement and then grows back and generates serious injuries anddeformations", reveals Leonardo.See_also: Persian Mastiff: meet the dog breed of Iranian origin
If this is the case of your kitten, it is essential to seek the help of a veterinarian specialized in the subject for a correct diagnosis. "The main and simplest form of diagnosis is oncotic cytology, but if it does not close diagnosis will be performed histopathological examination".
Skin cancer in cats: treatment can help achieve a cure
After the animal is diagnosed with the disease, many guardians are concerned and soon wonder if skin cancer in cats is curable. Fortunately, with the correct and appropriate treatment it is possible to get there. Everything will depend mainly on the patient's response to this treatment and also on when the diagnosis was made, according to the specialist. "To treat skin cancer in catsthe most common forms today are surgery and electrochemotherapy." This does not exclude other types of treatment, but talking to your veterinarian is essential to have the best possible guidance on the subject.
How to prevent carcinoma in cats?
It is not possible to completely prevent skin tumors in cats, but some basic day-to-day care can help reduce the risk of the disease. "There are several predisposing factors that make total prevention impossible, but we can reduce the incidence of skin cancer in cats by preventing the feline from having access to the street and being exposed to the sun during the most critical periods," says Leonardo. ByTherefore, the ideal is not to let the cat sunbathe between 10am and 4pm, which is when the ultraviolet rays are most intense. Sunscreen for cats is also a great ally at these times.
Other suggestions from the veterinarian are: "Avoid recurring injuries caused by fights and, when noticing any injury that does not heal, the guardian should seek help, as an early diagnosis can result in a better prognosis".