What You Need to Know About Stomach & Intestinal Cancer in Cats

What You Need to Know About Stomach & Intestinal Cancer in Cats

The painful and aggressive cancer called leiomyosarcoma attacks the muscles in your cat's intestines and stomach. Our team of veterinary oncologists in Greensboro will walk you through the signs, symptoms, and treatment options for stomach cancer in your feline companion. 

What is leiomyosarcoma?

Leiomyosarcoma is a rare but painful cancer which impacts the muscles surrounding your cat's stomach and intestines. 

Usually the disease appears in cats over 6 years old, but it can be diagnosed in cats of any breed. Leiomyosarcoma is a particularly aggressive stomach and intestinal cancer with a tendency to spread (or metastasize) throughout the rest of your cat's body like the digestive tract or other vital organs. 

What causes stomach and intestinal cancer in cats?

Researchers aren't entirely sure what the root causes for stomach and intestinal cancer in cats are. More research is and needs to be done in the field. 

What are the symptoms of stomach and intestinal cancer in cats?

Diagnosing stomach or intestinal cancer in your kitty can be a challenge. Your furry companions usually avoid showing signs of illness until it is well into its later stages. And when it has advanced enough for symptoms to appear, they start to show up quite gradually. 

Symptoms of this cancer can als0o mirror those of lesser gastrointestinal conditions, making it difficult to distinguish between them without extra testing. 

If your cat has leiomyosarcoma, you may see one or more of these symptoms:

  • Reduced appetite
  • Stomach growling
  • Blood in stool
  • Excessive gassiness
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Black stool
  • Chronic intermittent vomiting

How is leiomyosarcoma diagnosed?

If your cat is displaying any of the above symptoms, your vet will conduct a physical examination of their stomach and intestines during your next appointment to check for growths, pain, or enlarged lymph nodes. If your vet suspects that your cat may have stomach cancer, they will recommend your cat undergo a series of diagnostic tests.

The following tests may be used or recommended by your vet in order to detect and diagnose stomach or intestinal cancer. 

  • Blood tests
  • Endoscopy
  • Ultrasound guided biopsy
  • X-rays
  • Urinalysis
  • MRI or CT scans

What pain management options are there for cats diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma?

Unfortunately, many kinds of cancer and cancer treatments may cause your cat to experience some amount of pain. 

Pain caused by cancer can significantly reduce your feline companion's quality of life. Because of this, your vet may recommend a proactive approach and prescribe meds to manage your cat's pain. Rather than wait for signs of pain to appear, your vet may prescribe medications to your cat when or shortly after their diagnosis. The goal is to help your cat avoid as much pain as possible and be as comfortable as they are able to be.

How is stomach cancer in cats treated?

Your vet may be able to perform surgery to remove your cat's tumor and some of the tissue surrounding it. It is important to remember, however, that how effective surgical treatment can be is dependent on whether or not the cancer has spread to other parts of your cat's body. 

Further diagnostic testing may be required after your cat's initial diagnosis. This will help your vet to make an accurate prediction of your cat's condition, prognosis and the best treatment options for their specific case. 

Our veterinary team at Carolina Vet Specialists in Greensboro can offer cutting-edge oncological diagnostic tools, surgeries, and more if your cat has been diagnosed with stomach or intestinal cancer. Our veterinary oncologists are dedicated to caring for and treating pets with cancer as best as we can. 

Our other specialists are also able to offer options for the best possible treatment for you cat in collaboration with our veterinary oncologists. We will create a treatment plan which is catered to your cat's needs

We are also experienced in offering support for pet parents and families. We thoroughly review your pet’s medical history and diagnosis, then sit with you to explain the disease, staging and any additional diagnostics required, treatment options, side effects and prognosis.

Treatment options may include surgeries, immunotherapies, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or palliative care when it is required. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your cat is displaying signs of gastrointestinal issues, they may be suffering from stomach or intestinal cancer. Our veterinary oncology team in Greensboro are trained and experienced in providing care to cats with cancer. Contact Carolina Vet Specialists in Greensboro to book an appointment today.

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