Cancer of the Uterus in Cats

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Uterine Tumor in Cats

Uterine tumors are rare occurrences, usually affecting middle-aged to older female cats that have not been spayed. These tumors arise from the uterine smooth muscle and epithelial tissues — the tissues that line the internal organs and cavities. Cats usually develop malignant metastatic (aggressive and spreading) uterine tumors called adenocarcinomas, tumors that are derived from the glands. These types of tumors are called Müllerian tumors, since the uterus is derived from the Müllerian ducts in the embryo.

Symptoms and Types

  • Vaginal discharge
  • Abnormal estrous cycles
  • Frequent urination
  • Frequent drinking
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal distention, swelling
  • Infertility, inability to breed successfully
  • Uterine prolapse (displacement of the uterus outside the body)

Causes

This cancer tends to take place in female cats that have not been spayed.

Diagnosis

You will need to give a thorough history of your cat's health and onset of symptoms. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam on your cat, taking into account the background history of symptoms and possible conditions that might have led to this condition. A complete blood profile will be conducted, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, a urinalysis and an electrolyte panel to rule out other diseases.

X-rays will be taken of the chest to check for cancer spread. X-rays of the abdomen should also be taken to detect a possible abdominal mass. An ultrasound provides even greater visual sensitivity, and may be used to reveal a uterine mass during an abdominal examination. A computed tomography (CT) and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can further detail a mass and enable the most sensitive detection of the cancerfs spread in the body.

If there is abdominal fluid buildup, a fluid sample should be tapped and sent to the laboratory for analysis. A cellular examination of a biopsy taken from the tumor is required for a definitive diagnosis.

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prolapse

The falling forward of something, usually visceral

spay

To take the ovaries and uterus out of female animals; makes them unable to reproduce.

uterus

The hollow bodily organ that holds the embryo and fetus and provides nourishment; only found in female animals.

malignant

Something that becomes worse or life threatening as it spreads

urinalysis

An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness

embryo

The zygote that is developed after conception

biopsy

The process of removing tissue to examine it, usually for medical reasons.

distention

The process of making something larger by dilating or stretching it

ducts

A passage in the body with walls

benign

Not being able to cause harm; the opposite of malignant.

Courtesy of petmd.com Original Article

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