Lymphosarcoma in cats at one time was an almost automatic death sentence for your pet.
It can still be, depending on the severity, but in some cases your cats life may be extended anywhere from a few months to as much as two years.
The only form of treatment at this time is chemotherapy; or is it?
Lymphosarcoma is one on the most common cancers in cats and for reasons that are not yet fully understood, cats have a much higher incidence of this cancer than do dogs or humans.
There is no real breed discrimination with this cancer, but some forms do seem to attack some breeds more frequently.
The age that cats contract this disease has been climbing in recent years.
The average age used to be about 5 years; but now most of the cats affected are nine years or older, depending on the type of tumor.
Lymphosarcoma in cats is also commonly referred to as Lymphoma.
It is a grouping of malignant lymphocytes that attacks solid organs such as the lymph nodes and bone marrow.
However, they can also attack the liver and the spleen.
This cancer in most all cases is related to feline leukemia virus and in lesser cases FIV or feline immunodeficiency virus.
The testing of cats for both of these underlying diseases and the vaccination that is now provided has reduced the potential of your cat being infected by another cat,.
This has resulted in cats contracting it in older ages.
Lymphoma tumors, regardless of the form, will always consist of proliferation of the lymphoid tissues.
These tumors can appear anywhere in your pet’s body but there are four major areas that it usually attacks.
Mediastinal lymphoma affects the lymph nodes that are located in the front of your pet’s heart or the chest cavity.
The vast majority of these tumors are T-cell lymphomas. T-cell forms are uncommon as compared to B-cells and are almost always related to feline leukemia.
This form of Lymphosarcoma in cats is especially dangerous due to the fact that as the mass grows it puts a lot pressure on your cat’s chest and heart.
Siamese cats seem to be more affected with this tumor than other breeds and this form also seems to affect younger cats more often.
Alimentary lymphoma will usually attack cats between the ages of 7 to 9 and is located in the intestine area and is also the form least likely to be associated with leukemia.
It may also affect the lymph nodes surrounding the kidneys, liver and the spleen.
This is no breed specificity with this for of Lymphosarcoma in cats
Multicentric lymphoma will attack your cat in several places and is most common in cats between the ages of 3 to 5 years of age.
It is also almost always associated with either feline leukemia virus or feline immunodeficiency virus.
your cat is diagnosed with this form of the cancer it does not have a very good chance of surviving.
Extranodal lymphoma is not as common as the other forms and it will center on a much more localized point such as the renal or nasal areas.
However, it can also attack the nervous system, kidneys, and the skin.
In all forms of this killer cancer the chances for a longer survival increase if it is not associated with leukemia.
One of the major differences in lymphoma in cats as compared to dogs is the severity of the symptoms as they are much more severe in cats and will vary depending on the location of the tumors.
With the alimentary form of tumor your cat will have moderate to severe diarrhea as well as vomiting attacks.
As a result they will lose their appetite and then lose weight. Their hair coats will also become very rough.
The mediastinal form of lymphosarcoma in cats will cause your pet to experience moderate to severe respiratory problems usually from fluid buildup in the lungs.
If the cancer is located in the kidney your cat will develop a huge thirst and then the obvious increased urination.
If the cancer is located near the lymph nodes in the nose the symptoms may be swelling of the face as well as nasal discharge.
Diagnosis can be done by several methods including GI tract exams, X-rays, ultrasounds, as well as a complete physical to show tumors or swelling.
Blood tests and then biopsies will also be done on your cat to determine exactly what form of this killer your cat has.
Treatments for Lymphosarcoma in cats will in most all cases be chemotherapy unless it has been determined to be localized, in which case surgery or radiation to remove the tumor may be attempted.
There are several new and promising drugs as well as some time tested ones that will be used in combination such as doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone.
However, what is almost astonishing is that there is very little evidence or even mention of treating lymphoma in cats with the same treatments that they used for dogs.
There are some very tested natural treatments used for dogs and the question has to be asked why they are not used for cats ?
Arginine is a very powerful amino acid that is used to help prolong the life of a dog with lymphoma.
It is a growth hormone re leaser that helps to strengthen both muscles as well as body fats. No one knows for sure why it helps to prolong the lives in dogs, but it does.
Your cat manufactures the amino acid known as ornthine through a series of processes, but it requires arginine to actually manufacture the acids.
The reason it is believed to help dogs survive in that it helps to bind the ammonia that is produced from the breakdown of proteins.
It also helps to protect the immune system; and is not cancer a result of a deficient immune system?
Vitamin D has also been speculated to reduce leukemia and lymphomic cells in that they can cause them to return back to a normal state.
But the real power natural treatment seems to be vitamin B12.
It actually appears that the receptors on a cells surface invite this vitamin into the cell with the assumption that it will help the cancer grow.
But that is where it becomes so effective. Once inside the cell it does just the opposite of what it was asked to do.
It attacks and kills the cancer from within the cell and as a result it is very effective in prolonging a dog’s life with lymphoma.
All of these natural treatments are used for dogs, but why not cats?
And if they are so very effective in helping to prolong life, why would they not be just as effective in preventing the cancer from forming if you cat was supplemented from an early age?