Tumors on Cats
Tumor literally means "swelling", but is generally thought of as referring to a cancerous growth. However, some swellings may be from allergic reactions (like hives), trauma (hematoma/seroma), infection (abscess/cellulitis), or inflammation (foreign body reaction). In cats, the most common swelling usually an abscess from being bitten by another cat.
Otherwise, some relatively benign neoplastic tumors may appear during and after middle age. Tumors that increase in size rapidly, are painful, bruise or swell or change from day-to-day, rupture, bleed or cause irritation have a priority to be examined soon. Also, some cats are prone to forming a nasty tumor called a fibrosarcoma at a site of inflammation (perhaps from a bite wound or injection). Fibrosarcomas need to be aggressively excised early. Mammary tumors in cats are likely to be malignant and best removed as soon as possible. We can investigate tumors through a variety of means (inspection, palpation, cytology, ultrasound) and advise on a course of action. Tumors on eyelids that cause redness, discharge, squinting or any signs of discomfort should be removed promptly. In general, our best bet at curing tumors is early surgical excision. Call for an appointment if you have any concerns about tumors you find on your cat.