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Lymphoma, also known as lymphosarcoma, is one of the most common cancers in cats. It accounts for 90 of all blood cancers in cats, and for about a third of all tumors overall in cats. Lymphoma affects the lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that plays a critical role in the immune system.
Since the lymphatic system transports lymph fluid throughout the cats system, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the bodys cells, lymphoma can appear almost anywhere and affect different organs. There are three forms of lymphoma: mediastinal lymphoma, which is found in the chest cavity, asthma multicentric lymphoma, which affects lymph nodes throughout the body, and the most commonly seen form, alimentary lymphoma, which affects the gastrointestinal tract. Cats who have been exposed to the feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) appear to be at higher risk for lymphoma.
There is mounting evidence that inflammatory bowel disease, if left untreated, can eventually progress to lymphoma.
Symptoms of lymphoma, symptoms are highly variable and can range from weight loss, loss of appetite, and lethargy to nasal discharge, hindlimb weakness arizona and difficulty breathing. How is lymphoma diagnosed?
Your veterinarian will take a complete health history of your cat and perform a thorough physical examination. Routine laboratory testing will include a complete blood chemistry, blood count, and urinalysis. Your veterinarian will also take X-rays and/or perform an ultrasound to detect any tumors in various parts of the body.
Depending on the location of the tumors, biopsies, including a bone marrow biopsy, may be taken. Even if your cat has previously tested negative for FeLV and FIV, a repeat test may be performed. How is lymphoma treated?
Treatment usually consists of chemotherapy with a combination of various drugs, given over a period of several weeks and even months.
Unlike human medicine, where the goal of chemotherapy is to achieve a cure, in cats, chemotherapy is aimed at controlling the disease and achieving a period of remission with good quality of life. Most cats tolerate chemotherapy well.