In most occurrences, the life of a cat suffering from cancer can be considerably prolonged by suitable treatment. Nevertheless, these treatments often come with side effects. It takes vigilant scrutinizing and assessment for these side effects to be passed up or at least reduced.
So sadly, there may come a time when keeping a pet clinging to life does not give good reason for the suffering he/she is going through. Your veterinarian will know this, and will recommend all options all through the cat's treatment, and how to keep your cat's suffering to the smallest...
There are three main ways to treat cancer in cats: radiation therapy surgery, and chemotherapy.
Radiation therapy involves radiation at much higher dosages than are used for diagnostic X-rays. The aim is to kill tumor cells with focused radiation. Focus is vital, because concentrated radiation does not just kill cancerous cells, but every cell that get in its way. Modern radiation treatment uses many techniques to make certain that the tumor receives the utmost radiation with the least effect on the normal tissue nearby. Maximizing the outcome on tumors is one reason that radiation treatments are administered as a series of small doses instead of one large dose. Radiation is also utilized with high-quality effect on localized tumors.
Radiation is used to clear cancer from areas which a surgeon cannot reach without killing his patient, and on sites where a surgical operation is not practical in any case as well. Examples are some tumors affecting the nose, mouth, or other head and neck sites including the brain. Sometimes the treatment will succeed in totally curing your cat, in other cases the tumor will be forced to shrivel, recoil, only coming back after the cat has enjoyed cat many months, or even years, of excellent life.
Surgery is the oldest and most frequently used form of therapy and it is frequently the lone option for most benign and some malignant cancers. Surgery may be suggested for several reasons. These include total or partial removal of a tumor, partial or exploration of a meticulous area to attain a sample of tumor tissue and assess how far the cancer has spread through normal tissue. Normally, any tissue removed by surgery goes for a biopsy.
The successful surgical removal of a tumor depends on numerous things such as the tumor's location and size, the kind of tumor, and where and how expansively it has spread. Some cancers are too great or are in locations of the body where they cannot be removed entirely by surgery alone. In these cases the surgeon will take out as much of the cancer as he/she can, while minimizing damage to neighboring normal tissues and vital structures. Because cancer cells have been left behind, further treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy is used to assault the remaining cells.
Certain types of cancer, chiefly tumors of the lymph glands can be controlled quite well by anti-cancer drugs. Chemotherapy is also useful in combating cancers with a high likelihood of spreading. Regrettably anti-cancer drugs hardly ever cure animal tumors, but with some cancers they can manufacture remissions with a first-rate quality of life for long periods of time.
The uncontrolled division of rogue cells within the body is what permits the tumors to grow and spread. Consequently most chemotherapy drugs work by interfering with the capacity of cells to divide. Side effects, when they crop up, are often the result of the drugs affecting other cells in the body that need to divide quickly, such as cells in the intestinal tract, the bone marrow, and the skin. As a consequence side effects from chemotherapy most often include: hair loss, a low white blood cell count and gastrointestinal irritation.