Skin cancer is an abnormal proliferation of cells that can invade all kinds of tissues and organs. This type of cancer is the most common in cats, with 4 out of 10 cats suffering from this terrible disease throughout their lives. Normally the first symptoms usually appear in the ears, nose, lips, and eyelids since these are the least protected areas of the skin in these felines, but it is also common to see it inside the mouth.
In case of detecting any symptoms that make us doubt that our pet has this disease, what we must do is go immediately to a veterinarian for a blood and urine test, an X-ray to evaluate if there are metastases, and extractor aspirate a small piece of the tumor, if necessary, for analysis.
In this article, we are going to talk about the causes of this type of cancer, its symptoms, and how to treat it, so keep reading this article to learn more.
CAUSES OF CANCER IN CATS
Although it is not really known what causes cancer, there are factors that can influence the appearance of this disease in our felines.
Genetics: There are breeds of cats that have a greater genetic predisposition to suffer from cancer than others, this also happens at the individual level.
Food: Food is very important for the good health of our pet, and in this case, there are some foods that we can give to our cats that due to their physicochemical properties can prevent the appearance of different types of cancer. Likewise, there are also some foods that, if we overdo it, can cause the development of cancer.
Environmental factors: There are many factors to take into account: pollution, smoke, or sun exposure are just some of them, however, continued exposure to the sun is the one that has been shown to be the most dangerous in the development of cancer skin in cats, especially exposure to the sun in the hours when the sun’s rays affect the most (from 12 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon).
HOW TO DETECT SKIN CANCER?
Skin cancer in cats appears as pink lesions, alopecic areas, and scabs on the skin that at first can be mistaken for wounds, but as the disease proliferates these areas of the skin acquire a more reddish color and may even appear ulcerated areas with harder edges similar to scabs.
The ears, nose, lips, and mouth are the areas most affected by skin cancer, however, this tumor is spreading to all areas of the body, even the least visible such as the inside of the mouth, the lymph nodes, and the lungs. What is always recommended is that when in doubt you go to the vet since early diagnosis is key to treating the disease. The tests that will be performed on your pet will be a biopsy (tissue sample) in the affected areas to determine what is happening to your pet. Likewise, you may also have an x-ray to detect cancerous masses especially in the less visible areas such as the inside of the mouth where skin cancer usually begins to develop.
HOW TO TREAT SKIN CANCER?
The success of treatment, as in people, depends on how quickly we detect skin cancer, or how severe the state of this disease is. If the injuries are minor, they can be treated by avoiding sun exposure or applying a protection factor in the most vulnerable areas. However, if they are serious, there are three main ways to treat this tumor: