Clinical picture and diagnosis of breast tumors
Anatomy of the mammary glands of cats
Cats have four pairs of mammary glands: 2 pairs of mammary glands and 2 pairs of abdominal mammary glands. In rare cases, there is an additional pair of inguinal mammary glands (G.P.Dyulger, E.S.Sedletskaya, 2018).
Lymph from the breast pairs of the mammary glands flows into the axillary lymph nodes, and from the abdominal. into the superficial inguinal lymph nodes. In some cases, lymph from the caudal thoracic and cranial abdominal pairs of mammary glands may flow in two directions. towards the axillary and inguinal lymph nodes, as well as into the cranial mediastinal lymph node. The peculiarity of lymph drainage must be taken into account when planning a surgical operation to comply with the oncological principle of zoning (Raharison F. et al. 2006; Raharison F. et al. 2007).
Breast tumor (cancer) in a cat
A breast tumor is an overgrowth of tissues (cells) of the breast that is not controlled by the body.
Breast cancer or carcinoma. a malignant tumor from the epithelial tissue of the breast.
Abbreviations: breast cancer, breast cancer, breast cancer, breast cancer
Studies have shown that the expression of hormone receptors on breast carcinoma (cancer) cells is much less common in cats than in dogs or humans.
In people with breast cancer, the expression of receptors for estrogen and progesterone occurs in 70-80% of cases, and only 15-20% of cancers lack receptors for both hormones (Zatrani D. et al. 2000). For comparison, in cats, the expression of estrogen and progesterone receptors is observed in 7-22% and 33% of all cases of breast cancer (Rutterman GR et al. 1991; Millanta E. et al, 2005; de las Mulas JM. Et la. 2000 ; Mulas JMD. Et al. 2002; Hamilton JM. Et la. 1976).
People with a lack of estrogen receptors also often have negative expression (absence) of epidermal growth factor-2 (HER2) receptors on breast cancer cells. Such tumors are characterized by an aggressive course and are called triple negative breast cancer. In cats, HER2 expression is observed in 16-17% and 58% of breast cancers lack all three receptors on tumor cells (Wiese DA. Et la. 2013; Ordas J. et.al. 2007). These cats can be a comparative model for finding effective targeted therapies that people with triple negative breast cancer lack.
The study of the expression of receptors for rapamycin may be useful for further study of targeted therapy with inhibitors of these receptors. rapamycin (Rapamun, Sirolimus).
Mutation of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes increases the risk of breast cancer in women, as these genes are tumor suppressor genes and produce proteins that are involved in repairing damaged DNA. Dysfunction of these genes increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer and is found in 5-10% of breast cancers in women. The prevalence of similar gene mutations in cats is not fully understood and requires further research (Wiese DA. Et al. 2013).
Biology of breast tumors
Hormone and targeted therapies are often used in humane medicine to treat breast cancer. Its use in cats is rarely justified, in part due to the high cost and low availability of studies for the determination of estrogen and progesterone receptors, as well as the expression of the HER2 protein. On the other hand, according to a number of studies, most feline mammary tumors are negative for these markers, which makes targeted therapy unpromising.
In this regard, at the moment, most studies and authors recommend the use of traditional chemotherapy as an adjuvant treatment in cats with breast cancer.
The main indications for the use of chemotherapy are:
- Tumors more than 3 centimeters in diameter;
- Poorly differentiated neoplasms;
- The presence of metastases in the lymph nodes;
- III or IV stage of the disease.
The most commonly used chemotherapy drug in cats is doxorubicin. According to a number of studies, the use of chemotherapy in combination with surgery in cats with stage III or less breast cancer achieves a median life expectancy of 460 days or more (McNeil CJ et al., 2009; Borrego JF et al., 2009; Novosad CA et al., 2006). The main disadvantages of these studies are a small sample of animals, the absence of control groups and a wide variety of clinical stages and histological degrees of differentiation of mammary tumors, which significantly affect life expectancy.
Currently, unilateral mastectomy is the method of choice for local control of neoplasm, and adjuvant therapy is used in animals with stage II and III disease or poorly differentiated tumors.
Frequently Asked Questions About Feline Breast Tumors
Show the animal to a veterinarian with an oncology specialization.
In such cases, the tumor is treated with antiseptic solutions (chlorhexidine, miramistin). It is not recommended to use wound healing ointments (they can provoke tumor growth) and antiseptics such as hydrogen peroxide or containing iodine, brilliant green (brilliant green) and alcohol.
Secondary tumor infection may require systemic antibiotic therapy.
There are many factors affecting life expectancy (stage and differentiation of the tumor, concomitant diseases, and others). Therefore, life expectancy varies greatly and can range from 1 month to 29 months or more with complex and timely treatment.
There are a lot of these “drugs”, but they have no effect on the tumor itself. There is no objective evidence and research on their work. Attempting to use them will result in wasted time.
Special care is not required; in some cases, a blanket is put on the animal to protect it from self-injury. Animals with tumor diseases require a balanced and complete nutrition.
At the moment, the only prevention of the development of breast cancer in cats is early neutering (removal of the ovaries) of the animal.
For example, in one study, cats spayed before they were 6 months of age had a 9% chance of developing breast cancer, and a 14% chance of developing breast cancer at 6-12 months, compared with normal cats (the chances of developing a tumor were reduced by 91% and 86%, respectively). Sterilization after one year of age had no effect on reducing the risk of developing breast cancer in the future (Overley B. et al. 2005).
Most animals tolerate mastectomy well and return to full life a couple of weeks after surgery.
In the postoperative period, a blanket is put on the cat before the stitches are removed, painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs are given inside, and the seam is topically treated with an antiseptic solution. The stitches are removed after about two weeks. Complications are rare and usually associated with advanced disease prior to surgery.
The cost of an operation in cats varies and depends on a number of factors: the stage of the disease, the state of health, the equipment of the clinic, the technique of the operation, the consumables used, and others.
The easiest way to find out the cost of the operation is to call the veterinary institution and check it with the administrator (do not forget to find out the FULL cost of the operation, which includes the operation itself, anesthesia and everything else).
Breast tumor in cats and dogs. Interview with an oncologist
A large percentage of patients in our oncology department are cats and dogs with breast tumors (AMF). The most frequently asked questions about this disease by the owners were answered by the leading oncologist of the Biokontrol clinic, Candidate of Biological Sciences Alexander Alexandrovich Shimshirt.
A 13-year-old female spayed cat has 2 mammary tumours
For dogs, the statistics are slightly better: they have up to 60% of malignant processes and 40% of benign processes.
Unfavorable factors that speak about the aggressive behavior of the tumor and the need for prompt intervention are:
- rapid tumor growth;
- signs of inflammation;
- the appearance of ulcers;
- if this formation begins to bother the animal.
In principle, any education in the area of the mammary gland in an animal in adulthood and old age deserves close attention.
In cats, this pattern was not noted, however, both in cats and in dogs, hormone receptors were found in the tissue. We can state that, of course, there is a certain connection, especially in cats, between giving the animal drugs that suppress estrus, and the subsequent increase in the risk of developing breast cancer.
The amount of surgical intervention directly depends on the location, stage and type of tumor. For cats, for example, there are certain rules that involve the removal of the entire milk ridge along with regional lymph nodes. For dogs, there is such a feature that if the tumor is in the third milk bag, and the animal has five mammary glands on each side, the surgeon will remove the entire ridge. If the dog has a tumor in the fourth or fifth milk bag, the third, fourth and fifth bags are removed, along with the regional lymph nodes. If the first or second mammary gland is affected, then the first three packets and the lymph node are removed.
- the state of the primary focus;
- the state of the tumor itself;
- the presence of altered lymph nodes;
- presence of distant metastases.
It is believed that the criterion for the unfavorable behavior of a tumor is the size of the tumor: for cats it is 3 centimeters or more, for dogs of medium breeds 5-7 centimeters or more.
With males, everything is more complicated. There are no unambiguous statistics, the number of such clinical cases is extremely small, so it is very difficult to say that they definitely have some kind of hormonal background. Opinions vary on this score. Some doctors recommend neutering the animal, some, on the contrary, are against it, because if we are talking about cats, then they are most often already neutered by the time mammary gland tumors develop. It is impossible to unequivocally answer the question of why males also have mammary gland tumors.
Good day! My dog is 1 year and 1 month old. After the first heat there was a spoon, milk was
But there is a lump on the breast.
There were purulent discharge. The doctor prescribed prlactin for 1.5 months, the compaction decreased, the discharge remained. We got to another doctor, he prescribed Amoxicillin for 7 days and Prednisolone for 5 days. The discharge has ceased, but the soft seal remains
We visited the surgeon yesterday, he probed and said that this cyst should be removed
If you want to consult with our doctors, you can do it on the forum: https://www.biocontrol.ru/forum/
a neoplasm was examined in my dog (she is 11 years old) york; conclusion: a neoplasm of the mammary gland, highly differentiated papillary adenocarcinoma of the mixed type (c50.9; m-8260/3; G1) WHAT IS THIS STAGE, is there any benefit from chemitheropy.
Love, hello. It is better to ask this question directly to our oncologists. This can be done on the forum, in the section “Questions to the oncologist”, here: https://www.biocontrol.ru/forum/viewforum.php?f=7sid=80c547e6be27c7b2860211e058ac19ce
A female kitten has formed a small pouch in the area of the mammary glands, it looks like a filled ball about 7 cm by 3 cm in size, please tell me what it can be
Stas, hello! Ask this question to our doctors at Bioforum. Considering that we are talking about a kitten, it is probably best to talk to therapists: https://www.biocontrol.ru/forum/viewforum.php?f=5sid=64ebe99b1b7aee391f3e9b2ee81c73fe
My cat is 13 years old. Home, did not give birth, but periodically takes drops of the sex barrier. I noticed two months ago that it was as if the nipple was enlarged, but it did not hurt. Eats well. I’m afraid to take to the clinic, I have a sad experience with the last cat. What can I do myself?
Margarita, hello! In order to find out what is happening with the cat, it is necessary to conduct an examination and make a diagnosis. You cannot do it yourself. If the bad experience is related to the competence of doctors, contact another clinic. Try to find a clinic with a veterinary oncologist.
My cat is 9 years old. She has had so-called false pregnancies with swollen mammary glands 4 times. They were treated with mastometrin and ovariovitis. At present, after the next “Hunt”, the mammary glands of one ridge are swollen. no painful, soft, but under the arm is determined by the formation of up to 1 cm. 2 weeks ago, the cat was sterilized, the seals did not pass X-ray in Herzen did not reveal metastasis, on ultrasound in one of the areas (under the arm) increased blood flow, the tests were normal, the puncture was not done. A TOTAL MASTECTOMY is offered. From your point of view, is this volume of the operation justified??
Elena, hello! Discuss this issue with our oncologists directly on the forum “Questions for an oncologist”: https://www.biocontrol.ru/forum/viewforum.php?f=7
Hello. Please help me make a decision. Yesterday, an 11-year-old cat had a tumor in the mammary gland, from the left row at the bottom three cm, and in the right row at the top 1 cm, tests and examination are scheduled for tomorrow. The phone said most likely cancer. Prepare for operation, complete removal of the entire range of glands and sterilization about modern. Why after the operation the animal dies from an outburst of metastases, and without surgery it lives longer. And another question, simultaneous sterilization can open an additional channel for the spread of cancer cells with blood throughout the body?
Katerina, hello. With these questions, you better contact our oncologists directly. You can communicate with them on Bioforum, here: https://www.biocontrol.ru/forum/viewforum.php?f=7sid=4c083cd538f475ea67fb9e1541f7999c
Hello! The cat is 8 years old, free access to the street, but she never had kittens. she never got pregnant. Several months ago, lumps appeared in the mammary glands and. today she gave birth to one kitten! We are happy with the kitten, but what about the cat mom now? Can the seal pass by itself? Sorry to operate on her.
Gulya, consult our therapists on this issue on the forum, in the “Questions to therapist” section: https://www.biocontrol.ru/forum/viewforum.php?f=5sid=cc1acf977e2660c6cd6222c2ee13aeb1
The cat is 20 years old, British, gave birth 2 times, the last time in 2015. Now I noticed that one nipple was swollen, as if there was liquid, around the seal to the touch, painless. How to be?
Zhanna, hello! It is necessary to immediately show the cat to a veterinarian in order, first of all, to make a diagnosis. The earlier you contact, the higher the likelihood of a successful treatment outcome.
Hello, the cat is 11 years old, in the spring we visited the veterinarian and found m
a pea-sized tumor in the chest area, we were told that it is removed by means of an operation. the cat is old, she will not undergo anesthesia and the operation, in principle, they said that they just wanted to watch her, if it bothered her, maybe she would lick her, tear her apart. There was no such thing, but the tumor grew sharply, hard, slightly larger than a walnut, the cat has a sickly appearance. What should I do? How to help? Is it worth doing the operation, is there a chance that she will come to her senses after the operation?
With our oncologists, you can discuss all these issues directly on the forum, in the section “Questions to the oncologist”: https://www.biocontrol.ru/forum/viewforum.php?f=7sid=8d12a58bd1b4e1ea0917e876d906c409
Good afternoon! Kitty is 13 years old, a lump appeared in the chest area, it was initially small and eventually passed, then reappeared. The doctor said that the operation should not be done because it is old. Perhaps there are medications that would reduce or stop the growth of the lump?
Olga, hello. The age of the animal is never a contraindication for the operation. Thirteen years old is not an old cat. If your cat has a breast tumor, this type of cancer can only be removed surgically. It is necessary to undergo an examination by a veterinary oncologist.
A 19-year-old cat has a tumor on her papilla, and it’s still quite large, about five centimeters, the veterinarian told us that an operation is needed, this is certainly understandable. but whether the cat will bear it and whether there will be an effect from the performed operation, most likely it is cancer. Isn’t it easier to leave everything as it is. She eats well, plays with her little kitten. grandson, it’s just that the operation itself is not cheap, and then there is no special opportunity to take her to the procedures, too, what to do? just how would not shorten the life of our cat and do not want to deliver torment to her
Hello, Inna! The question of whether the cat will undergo the operation can be answered by the anesthesiologist, who examines the patient before the operation, determines the degree of anesthetic risk and, in accordance with it, selects the anesthetic aid. In order to diagnose cancer, a histological examination is necessary. The effect of the operation is to remove the tumor and stop the development of the tumor process. Breast cancer is quite aggressive and the fact that the cat is now feeling well does not negate the fact that after a while, as the tumor develops, her condition will worsen.
Hello ! Cat 12 years old, spayed after the first estrus, metastasis in organs and lymph nodes was not found, tests are normal.
Between the 4 lowest pair of mammary glands, closer to the left, a balloon with liquid contents is inflated, there are also tubercles on the left 3 and left 2 pairs. One doctor talks about bilateral mastectomy. and removal of the lymph nodes and inguinal and axillary, another oncologist leaves the 1st pair of the breast and the right gland of the 2nd pair. they are without bumps and redness. says otherwise it will be very difficult for the cat to recover. not enough skin. Please tell me ! How to be? Is it better to go for a more radical operation or divide it into 2 stages? The cat is not young, I really want to ease her quality of life and extend her life as much as possible. thank.
Julia, hello! Consult directly with the oncologists of our clinic here: https://www.biocontrol.ru/forum/viewforum.php?f=7
Hello, my cat is 12 full years old, yesterday in the morning she was operated on, the entire line of the mammary glands was cut out at the bottom there was a large tumor. How long can she recover from anesthesia or is it something else?
Really looking forward to the answer
Nina, hello! It is better for you to ask this question to our anesthesiologists. This can be done on the Bioforum in the section “Questions to the anesthesiologist and resuscitator”, here: https://www.biocontrol.ru/forum/viewforum.php?f=11sid=ba8289e08aa7ca736ad4157965bcde0d
Hello, I have such a situation. My cat needs an MRI. But in our area there is no it. Is it possible to do an MRI that is for people?
Really looking forward to the answer.
Nina, hello. Of course you can. In our country, there are no specialized veterinary tomographs, all devices used in diagnostics in veterinary medicine are human. Of course, there is a significant nuance in conducting an MRI to an animal: you cannot ask him to lie down absolutely motionless. Therefore, MRI of animals must be performed under anesthesia.
Good day! My kitty is 2.5 years old, did not give birth, did not do sterilization, we don’t give pills, and she doesn’t often walk (about once every six months). Today I found an accumulation of white matter on the nipples (it looks like a boil without redness, the nipples themselves are very slightly pink). The cat did not notice any complaints about this, does not resist during examination and does not show a painful reaction. Please tell me what to do and what it can be?
Hello Svetlana! Of course, the cat must be shown to a veterinarian. You can consult our oncologists here: https://www.biocontrol.ru/forum/viewforum.php?f=7sid=f6dfefa6e21f94cab325cf376d0bfb0e
Good day! I recently got a cat. And I’m worried about the rings around the nipples. This is not a large formation that looks like a donut, but in diameter somewhere no more than half a centimeter. She has not been with me for a long time, but now the quarantine can’t take her anywhere! What it might be is it possible pregnancy?
Denis, hello! You can consult with our oncologists at Bioforum, in the section “Questions to the oncologist”. Create a theme, describe the problem and attach photos. If photos cannot be attached, send them to email@example.com with an indication of the topic to which to add.
Forum link: https://www.biocontrol.ru/forum/viewforum.php?f=7sid=8dc5f9b28a5112e8246b472fae3e26a9
Hello. Please tell us our cat is 1.3 years old, neutered, Highland Fold breed, in place of 4 out of 8 nipples some kind of white viscous mass stands out. It is removed very easily (with a cotton wool with chlorhexidine), the cat does not bother at all, he does not have any pain. In our city it is impossible to find a competent veterinarian on this matter. We are very worried with the whole family. And we don’t understand if this is the norm?
Irina, hello! On this issue, it is better for you to talk to our therapists. This can be done here: https://www.biocontrol.ru/forum/viewforum.php?f=5sid=ce971e79c9b7a29ce7318378c576111a
Hello! Please tell me, I really need help! We called the doctor at the clinic where the cat was operated on, did not call back. The situation is as follows. In November, they found a small lump of 1 cm. We did all the tests that were prescribed, everything is relatively good, and Zlata (cat) was diagnosed with breast cancer. The British cat that gave birth underwent surgery, the histology is bad. We did a chemistry course of three procedures. The cat felt great, ate as if not in itself), rejoiced in her activity and appetite. Two weeks ago, I started to breathe hard, but in principle, I can say that. And a week ago, breathing began to deteriorate. And vomited for a couple of days, thought that she had overflowed (she sometimes overeats). Three days ago I began to eat poorly, for two days I hardly eat and drinks little. He breathes very heavily, just lies or goes to the balcony to breathe air. Does not moan, does not meow. Is it possible to make her breathing easier. I can’t decide to put myself to sleep. Six months ago we were afraid that nothing would help, but we extended her life. Really looking forward to the answer. thank.
Hello, Elena! Consult our oncologists directly, here: https://www.biocontrol.ru/forum/viewforum.php?f=7
Hello my cat is 1 year old and I noticed that her nipple was enlarged, she didn’t care yet, I gave her an injection so that she didn’t have any experience, I hope you tell me
Hello my cat 1 year old, I noticed a swelling on the nipple, we still did the code so that she was not pregnant, I have no experience and I hope that you can tell me what I need to do please help
Diana, hello! A one year old cat is unlikely to develop breast cancer. Therefore, it is better for you to consult with our therapists first. This can be done on Bioforum, in the section “Questions to therapist”, here: https://www.biocontrol.ru/forum/viewforum.php?f=5
Good day. The cat is 16 years old, a tumor of the mammary gland was opened. I cannot decide whether to wait for the natural death of the animal, or to do euthanasia. What would you advise from personal experience? Another question is whether it is possible to euthanize a cat on its own before transportation?
A 13-year-old cat, did not give birth, a lump and fluid in the mammary gland was found.
After the examination, the doctor said oncology, prescribed to take pills for 10 days, then, if desired, neuter the cat.
He did not prescribe a mammary gland operation, nor did he prescribe a test.
How to be in this situation?
Thank you so much!
Cat Mammary Tumors: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatments: Vlog 92
Victoria, hello! First of all, you need to contact a veterinary specialist. an oncologist. An oncological diagnosis is not made based on the examination results, only on the basis of the results of histological examination. If histology confirms the tumor and determines its type, then treatment is prescribed. surgical, or chemotherapeutic, or combined.
You can communicate with our oncologists directly, on Bioforum, in the section “Questions to an oncologist”: https://www.biocontrol.ru/forum/viewforum.php?f=7
The cat is about 9 years old. After pregnancy, the cat had some kind of small education, but it turned out that I did not understand what it could be, because I thought that the kitten had not sucked enough and the milk remained there, I thought it would dissolve (fool). They realized it after a few months, the tumor progressed. Today dad took the cat to the clinic and underwent an operation to remove a tumor in the mammary glands. since we live in a village, there is a small town not far from us, we were taken there to a veterinary clinic, not specialized. They did not even take tests from the cat (((I am very worried, now she is moving away from anesthesia, the incision for the operation turned out to be on the whole body, from the armpit to between the legs. I don’t know what will happen next, the surgeon said the tumor is malignant, possible consequences in the form that the tumors may reappear. I do not know what to do, I am afraid for the kitty very much.
Is it possible to give amanita tincture to a cat? Does it help after surgery?
Sophia, hello! Discuss the current situation with our oncologists directly, here: https://www.biocontrol.ru/forum/viewforum.php?f=7
Hello! My cat also has a tumor, 15 years old, neutered. We saw that pus and blood were seen from the nipple, when pressed a little bit of pus, rubbed it with chlorhexidine, after that I went to the doctor. They pierced 11 days with antibiotics: combikelhepavickel. The tumor became a little smaller, there was a seal, but less than 3 cm. The doctor prescribed an operation, but did not order any analysis? Is it worth the operation if the cat is feeling well after the course of injections? It may be worth watching for a while to see if the tumor grows.?
Miroslava, hello! Communicate directly with our oncologists on this matter. This can be done on Bioforum, in the section “Questions to the oncologist”, here: https://www.biocontrol.ru/forum/viewforum.php?f=7
A 20-year-old cat (not kitten) was found to have a 2-2.5 cm breast tumor. The doctor recommends removing the tumor along with sterilization. I can’t decide if my heart will stand it. Help advice.
Tatiana, good afternoon! On this issue, it is better for you to talk to our anesthesiologists. This can be done here: https://www.biocontrol.ru/forum/viewforum.php?f=11
My parents have a dog (girl). 7 years old Russian long-haired toy terrier. At the beginning of September, when examining at the dacha for the detection of ticks in the dog, I found some compaction near the nipple (just above the lowest left), about the size of 2 barley grains. The seal is slightly different in color (in the dark side). When contacting the veterinarian, they suggested an operation with a complete removal of the nipple ridge. But firstly, we are not sure that the seal is malignant, and secondly, is such an intervention dangerous for such a small dog? I can send a picture (from a smartphone) with dimensions. Can you carry out a preliminary diagnosis of a neoplasm, in order to determine its malignancy, so that later you can make an informed decision??
Hello Alexey! It is better for you to consult with our oncologists directly, on the Bioforum, in the “Questions to the oncologist” section. The format of the forum just presupposes the possibility of attaching pictures, this will help in resolving your question. Follow the link: https://www.biocontrol.ru/forum/viewforum.php?f=7
Hello, the cat is 11 years old, they put on an omzh (one large tumor in one bag and not large cysts are scattered over all the nipples) and they offer to give 3 teranekron injections, and then remove all mammary glands and uterus with ovaries. There is nowhere to take an X-ray to determine if there are metastases, the cat is now doing well. Is this course of treatment adequate?
Breast tumor in a cat
A breast tumor (BMT) is a neoplasm associated with abnormal tissue growth, which increases in size over time. This is one of the most common neoplasms found in cats. Modern medicine has a number of effective methods for their treatment, but the successful outcome and further life of a pet depends primarily on the timeliness of seeking medical help.
Types and diagnosis of tumors
The tumor is a lump that ranges in size from a small nodule to a tennis ball. It can be of two types:
- Benign (cyst, adenoma). does not pose a threat to life, but can cause significant inconvenience to a pet if it reaches a large size. It usually has the correct shape, is separated from the nearby tissues by a capsule, is located only on one of the glands and grows slowly, not penetrating the nearby tissues, but only moving them. But such seals require constant monitoring, since they can develop into malignant formations.
- Malignant (carcinoma, sarcoma) is a deadly neoplasm that provokes the development of metastases and grows into neighboring tissues and organs. It is usually irregular in shape and has a lumpy, knobby surface.
Fibroadenomatous hyperplasia in the sphinx
Most often, AMF are found in unsterilized elderly individuals (over 7 years old), as well as those who have suffered a trauma to the mammary glands or suffer from hormonal disruptions. over, the share of benign formations accounts for 10-15% of cases, while the rest are classified as malignant. Pathology does not occur in animals that were spayed before the first estrus, and all other individuals are already at risk. In this case, the disease can be detected even in young pets (up to 2 years of age).
A neoplasm can be diagnosed both by probing (palpation), and by X-ray or ultrasound. But its type and character can be determined only through a cytological or histological examination of material taken from a tumor with a syringe. Additionally, a general blood test is taken and other studies are carried out that allow us to assess the health of the animal and determine further actions that will be appropriate in a particular case.
How is the operation going
The course of the operation to remove the tumor:
- preparation of the operating field (shaving wool, treatment with antiseptics);
- providing access to the tumor (cutting the skin);
- bandaging and cutting off the vessels feeding the seal;
- removal of the neoplasm with the capture of 2-3 cm of healthy tissues, as well as nearby lymph nodes;
- suturing a wound.
Depending on the severity of the lesion, the seal is removed directly, one mammary gland or a whole line. In especially difficult situations, as part of the treatment, a bilateral mastectomy is performed. removal of two lines of the mammary glands, which is performed in two steps.
Surgery to remove a breast tumor belongs to the category of complex surgical interventions. Due to the relatively high percentage of relapses, doctors do not promise a quick recovery and a favorable outcome of the operation. One of the factors on which recovery depends is the degree of damage:
- in the initial stages, removal of the neoplasm can save the cat’s life;
- in the later stages, the doctor will most likely not perform the operation, since it will not be justified. In such cases, palliative treatment is prescribed, which is aimed at improving the quality of life of the pet. It includes antibiotics, pain relievers, and anti-inflammatories.
The operation is not always possible due to the age of the animal: the older it is, the more difficult it is to tolerate general anesthesia and the postoperative period.
What to do when opening a tumor
If the tumor was not detected in a timely manner and no treatment was carried out, it can be opened. This phenomenon also indicates the progression of the pathological process and the advanced stage of the disease. In this case, a wound appears, from which contents with a sharp unpleasant odor, sometimes pus and blood, are released. In this case, the pet should be immediately shown to the veterinarian in order to receive recommendations on further actions. The optimal method in this situation is all the same surgical removal of the AMF, excision of painful tissues. All other methods do not solve the underlying problem and metastases can spread to other organs, which deprives the pet of the chance of recovery. But if a cat’s breast tumor burst, and the operation is impossible for health reasons or other reasons, then it is prescribed:
- Wound treatment with antiseptics (chlorexidine, miramistin, levomecol, etc.).
- Taking antibiotics (Tsiproveta, Fosprenil).
- Wearing a blanket or bandage that covers the wound but allows air to flow to prevent infection.
The main method of treating a breast tumor is an operation, during which overgrown tissues are completely removed. After surgery, the removed material is sent for histological examination, and according to its results, further treatment is prescribed and its outcome is predicted.
In parallel with the operation, doctors recommend doing a hystervariectomy (removal of the ovaries) to lower the level of estrogen in the animal’s body.
In the postoperative period, in some cases, a course of chemotherapy is prescribed, which is necessary to destroy possible remnants of tumor cells in the body. It is a drip procedure of drugs (cytoxan, mitoxantrone, etc.) with an interval of 21 days and is usually well tolerated by cats without causing hair loss.
As additional means for treatment, you can water the animal with broths of milkweed, calendula, arnica, wild rosemary, mountaineer. They contain substances that block the development of tumor cells. But this can only be done after veterinarian approval.
How long will a cat live?
If any type of lump is found in the area of the mammary glands of a cat, it should be immediately shown to the veterinarian for diagnosis. How long a cat diagnosed with a breast tumor will live depends on the timeliness of the visit to the doctor, as well as the age, general health and type of education. One of the main factors that affects life expectancy is the size of the neoplasm at the time of treatment (measured on the largest side):
- up to 2 cm. about 3 years;
- more than 3 cm. about 6 months.
If diagnosed early, removal of the breast cancer significantly increases the pet’s chances of prolonging the life of the pet. Late diagnosis with large neoplasms and the development of metastatic processes gives a prognosis for life within 6-12 months.
That is why it is important for a cat owner to regularly monitor the condition of her mammary glands, and if suspicious lumps appear, do not postpone a visit to the veterinarian.
You can also ask a question to the in-house veterinarian of our website, who will answer them as soon as possible in the comment box below.
What to do if a cat is suspected of having a breast tumor. only the veterinarian knows (preferably a visit to the oncologist). The sooner the cat is shown to a specialist, the fewer complications will arise with its health and the more chances for a successful outcome of the disease.
When examined in a veterinary clinic, a cat undergoes a number of diagnostic procedures:
- Examination with palpation and taking anamnesis (medical history).
- Taking blood for laboratory tests of the general condition of the animal.
- Biopsy of pathological material (a piece of the neoplasm is studied under a microscope and allows you to determine the type of pathology with 100% certainty).
- Ultrasound or X-ray examinations (prescribed to identify the stage of development of the disease and determine the localization of metastases).
Having received the results of the examination, it will not be difficult for the veterinarian to make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate treatment, taking into account the age and other characteristics of the cat.
An important point in the diagnosis of a neoplasm is differentiation with ailments similar in symptoms (mastitis, multiple insect bites), the treatment of which is assumed to be completely different.
How long a cat with cancer will live: depends on the stage of the disease, the age of the patient, and the conditions of keeping and feeding. Veterinary oncologists call these numbers:
- If the tumor is up to 2 cm. about 3 years;
- if more than 3 cm. about half a year.
However, if you carry out surgery and see a doctor every year (due to the high percentage of relapses), the chances of a longer and happier pet’s life are much greater.
Symptoms of a tumor in cats
In a benign course of the disease, the characteristic signs of a breast tumor in cats are:
- Dense, knobby growths of a rounded shape, not adhered to the skin;
- the growth of glandular tissue to a large size, with a high risk of injury (blood or exudate may ooze from the wound);
- the pet’s condition is unchanged, however, due to discomfort, there is a high likelihood of physical inactivity and weight gain.
Hormone-dependent adenocarcinoma (malignant tumor), as the most common breast cancer in cats, has the following symptoms:
- Immobile nodules over the entire surface of the breast and nearby lymph nodes;
- painful sensations (expressed on palpation of foci of inflammation);
- increased temperature and fever;
- decreased appetite, apathetic state;
- cats licking painful seals, resulting in bleeding, purulent-necrotic wounds;
Types of breast tumors
A breast tumor in a cat can be of 2 types: malignant and benign.
I. malignant tumor. In 85 out of 100 diagnosed pathologies, malignant growths of glandular tissue, called adenocarcinoma or sarcoma, occur. This is the most unfavorable type of disease, which, in the absence of timely treatment, inevitably leads to the death of the animal.
At the same time, breast neoplasms have an irregular and lumpy shape with many nodules of different sizes, which can open and bleed. The danger of a malignant tumor also lies in the development of foci of metastases and growth into neighboring tissues and organs. In the absence of treatment, the foci, reaching a certain size, begin to collapse, causing intoxication of the body and the quick death of the cat.
II. benign tumor. The second type of breast tumor is the formation of cysts or adenomas, which do not pose a threat to the life of the cat. A feature of this form of the disease is the likelihood of the growth of foci to a significant size and causing inconvenience to the animal, as well as the unaesthetic appearance of protruding irregularities when the cat moves.
Cysts and adenomas are not deadly diseases, do not invade adjacent organs and tissues, and do not metastasize. Nevertheless, there are cases of degeneration of adenoma into a malignant form.
Breast tumor treatment
Malignant tumor. The main method of treatment for all types of breast tumors is an operation to excision the overgrown tissue of the gland. If a malignant formation is detected, then closely located lymph nodes are additionally removed, since they are most likely also affected. After the operation, the wound area has significant dimensions and a large number of sutures.
If the cat has not been spayed before, then in parallel with the operation, doctors advise to remove the ovaries and uterus, this will lower the level of estrogen in the animal’s body and prevent further complications.
In the postoperative period (if the malignancy of the removed tumor is confirmed), a course of chemotherapy is prescribed, which is necessary to destroy the remnants of abnormal cells. The therapy is a drip of anticancer drugs at intervals of 3 weeks. Medicines are easily tolerated by cats and do not cause thinning of the coat.
The tumor is benign. Breast adenoma is also removed to exclude the possibility of cell degeneration.
If, due to the reasons identified during the examination of the animal, the operation becomes impossible, then conservative treatment is prescribed, the purpose of which is to stop the growth of the neoplasm with the prevention of injuries, as well as to increase the protective forces of the animal. Special antineoplastic and antibacterial agents are used.
When a breast tumor breaks out in a cat, this indicates the transition of the disease into an incurable state. The owner’s subsequent actions should be focused on improving the quality of life of the animal, pain relief and prevention of bacterial infection. Do not forget that the opened breast tumor should be treated with antiseptic solutions and covered with a blanket so that the cat does not have the opportunity to lick it.
Breast tumor in a cat. types, symptoms and treatment process
A tumor of the mammary gland in a cat is a pathological proliferation of tissue, visually manifested in the form of the formation of dense nodules in the nipple, armpits and groin area.
There is no unequivocal and proven opinion about the etiology of the disease, but there are a number of assumptions by veterinarians, namely:
- Regular and uncontrolled use of hormonal contraceptives for cats during the period of sexual activity, which leads to a violation of the hormonal status and the emergence of pathological processes (this is the most common version);
- heredity (if a cat had similar problems in the genus, then the risk of the disease is high);
- apartment pets with monotonous feeding, lack of walking in nature, a small amount of sunlight (this is complemented by poor absorption of anti-cancer vitamin D by cats);
- natural features and unfavorable environmental conditions in the cat’s habitat (increased radioactive background, exposure to magnetic fields).
A tendency to diseases of a tumor nature of the mammary gland are primarily older non-sterilized cats, adult pets with repeated use of sex drive regulators (drugs such as “Sex Barrier”, “Gestrenol”, “Sex Control”), as well as some breeds (oriental and Siamese).
Only cats do not fall into the risk zone, which at a young age (before the onset of the first estrus) underwent an ovariohysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries). All other pets are not insured.
To prevent neoplasms and early diagnosis of ailments, you should:
- Sterilize the cat before the first sexual activity;
- do not use hormonal drugs without a doctor’s recommendation;
- see a veterinarian annually;
- monitor the cat’s weight, do not overfeed;
- provide active exercise in the fresh air.
A cat can lead a full life even with a diagnosis of “tumor” and live long enough if the owners take care of it in time.
Removal of lymph nodes
Fine-needle aspiration of regional (associated with the organs in question) lymph nodes makes it possible to find out the degree of their involvement in the pathological process. Usually, surgery is prescribed to remove the affected lymph nodes (inguinal and axillary). Sometimes, an ovariohysterectomy (removal of the uterus and ovaries) is also performed at the same time, which facilitates postoperative therapy.
Help with tumor diseases
If a pet’s breast tumor has opened, and purulent discharge is observed, a consultation with a veterinarian is necessary. In most cases, the opened tumor is urgently removed. But, if this path is dangerous, they resort to conservative treatment. Usually, applications of Levomekol ointment are prescribed. Before smearing, the wound is treated with chlorhexidine. In addition, antibiotic therapy is carried out (Tsiprovet, Fosprenil). The wound is covered with a loose bandage, with free access of air. Not a tight blanket is worn on top.
If a cat has opened a tumor, she needs to be given maximum attention and care. You can take care of her without fear for your health. the disease is not contagious.
Types of breast tumors
Most tumors (and there are 4 pairs in total) develop from the glandular epithelium and are divided into three large groups:
- Adenoma and fibroadenoma (in the case of a benign course), it is quite rare.
- Carcinoma or adenocarcinoma (in the case of a malignant course) of the mammary gland in a cat, it is much more common. For the most part, it comes from the epithelium of the ducts and alveoli of the mammary glands. Inflammatory carcinoma of the mammary glands is especially dangerous. It is accompanied by an inflammatory process and therefore has a particularly poor prognosis.
- Mixed tumors affect both ductal and epithelial tissues of the mammary glands. They are characterized by a more favorable course.
Carcinoma of the mammary glands is a mobile nodular mass. In advanced stages, it often breaks open and may ulcerate or bleed. often the mammary glands are affected on one side, less often on both sides. The disease is accompanied by enlarged lymph nodes, especially in the groin and axillary region.
It is not always possible to determine the type of tumor (benign or malignant), especially if it has burst. In this case, the treatment regimen is based on the therapy of a potentially malignant neoplasm.
Typical Symptoms and Methods for Treating Breast Tumors in a Cat
Speaking about common feline diseases, one cannot fail to mention oncological diseases. Yes, unfortunately, animals, like humans, have a fairly high risk of developing cancer. A tumor of the mammary gland in a cat is quite common, and in four cases out of five the disease takes on a malignant course. This serious ailment can be completely cured only with early diagnosis. The owner should carefully monitor the health of his pet and, in the event of a small lump or lump in the area of the mammary glands, be sure to contact the veterinary clinic for advice.
In most cases, breast cancer treatment is radical. An operation to remove the tumor is proposed. It usually takes place in several stages:
- removal of breast tumors, which is performed in cats with a significant area of healthy tissue;
- removal of nearby lymph nodes to prevent further metastasis;
- chemotherapy. as the final stage of treatment, designed to stop the tumor process and exclude the possibility of relapses.
Causes of occurrence
Today, only a number of factors are known that lead to the onset of breast cancer in cats. And the exact reasons for this dangerous ailment are still not known to medicine. The hormonal factor is of the greatest importance. Fluctuations in the hormonal background in the animal’s body can be caused by various reasons:
- Natural fluctuations. They accompany estrous cycles (physiological changes in the body that occur between two estrus). In this case, the early (before the first estrus) sterilization of the cat reduces the risk of cancer.
- Artificially created vibrations. This includes the effect on the hormonal background of the animal’s body with progesterone hormone preparations, which is prescribed to reduce the level of aggression in cats or to prevent unwanted pregnancies in females. In this case, the risk of oncology can be avoided by refusing to prescribe such drugs (or giving them not regularly, but occasionally).
In addition, the following factors increase the likelihood of tumor processes in the mammary gland:
- The age of the cat. The kitten is not usually affected by the disease. Cats 10 years of age and older are most prone to disease.
- There is a breed predisposition. It is believed that tumors appear more often in Oriental and Siamese cats.
- Hereditary predisposition also matters.
- The risk is increased if the cat has lived in a polluted environment for a long time.
- Feeding with low-quality feed, a poor, monotonous diet significantly reduces the resistance of the animal’s body, which means that it increases the risk of getting sick.
There is also a version that cancer of any localization, including a breast tumor, has a viral etiology. But there is still no definitive proof of it.
Postoperative period: caring for the animal
A caring owner should know what to do in the postoperative period. Its main task is to accurately fulfill all medical recommendations:
- The most important condition is to create all conditions for the animal to recover as soon as possible. He needs peace for a successful rehabilitation.
- The diet is compiled with the attending physician. Only recommended foods or feeds are allowed and given in moderation. There should be no deviations from the diet.
- Timely processing of seams and surrounding tissues is important.
- Postoperative drug therapy will help build up protection against infections to rule out the possibility of complications.
- Protective bandages and blankets should be used to prevent the animal from injuring the operated area.
At the slightest hint of postoperative complications (stitches burst, and pus came out, or the temperature rose), the animal should be taken to the clinic immediately.
The main symptoms appear when the disease is already in its advanced stage. At this stage, the general well-being of the animal worsens and its appearance changes. The tumor can appear as single or multiple nodes. The inguinal and axillary lymph nodes are inflamed. The lesion can cover several lobes of the breast. Sometimes it is possible to estimate its true size only after shaving the coat on a fairly large area of the body. The main clinical signs at this stage are as follows:
- the neoplasm is of considerable size;
- there is a fairly strong inflammation of the surrounding tissues;
- the cat is in rather severe pain;
- body temperature may rise;
- the animal loses weight sharply, there is no appetite;
- possible bleeding and discharge of pus from the opened tumor.
If your cat has swollen and sore mammary glands, it is not always cancer-related. Very often, some non-neoplastic conditions of the mammary glands have similar symptoms. Basically, these are hyperplasias (tissue growths) of various etiologies and some other conditions:
- hyperplasia of the ducts of the gland;
- breast cysts;
- lobular hyperplasia;
- fibroadenomatous hyperplasia;
- false pregnancy;
- true pregnancy;
- the consequences of the administration of drugs of the hormone progesterone.