Feline Pancreatic Cancer
Tumors that affect that pancreas lead to a medical problem known as feline pancreatic cancer. The pancreas is a gland that has multiple jobs. Not only does it secrete digestive enzymes, but it also secretes important hormones. This means that the gland operates as part of both the digestive and endocrine systems.
Fortunately, pancreatic cancer in cats is a disease that isn’t very common. Unfortunately though, there is no specific cause for its development when it does occur. However, age is suspected to be a primary factor since the disease typically affects felines that are older. Any gender or breed can be affected.
Like many health problems, the signs of this disease aren’t very specific, so it shares many common symptoms with other health problems. Some of these signs include vomiting, depression, anorexia, and weight loss. It’s also common for there to be hair loss. The abdomen may also become distended.
It can sometimes be difficult to diagnose feline pancreatic cancer easily. This is because blood and biochemical tests can’t easily show issues with the pancreas’ secretions. Also, the vet may not be able to feel any tumors affecting the pancreas with a physical exam alone. An ultrasound of the abdomen may be useful for detecting these tumors.
By the time pancreatic cancer in cats has been detected, the disease has usually progressed far along. The cancer also has a tendency to spread to nearby lymph nodes and the liver. This makes for a very poor prognosis. The disease proves to be fatal within a year for most felines. If the cancer has yet to spread, surgery may be a viable option. Chemotherapy and radiation treatment aren’t very effective methods of treatment for this particular cancer.