Feline Adenocarcinoma Diagnosis

Feline adenocarcinoma is when a cat has a cancer that starts in the tissues of an organ or epithelial tissues. Diagnosis of this disease can help determine the best course of action that should be taken for recovery.

Feline Adenocarcinomas Explained

Adenocarcinomas can occur in basically any tissue in a cat's body that line an organ. However, cells are only considered to be an adenocarcinoma when they're glandular and assist in the secretion of a bodily fluid to ducts that lead to the external part of a cat's body.

When a cat does have an adenocarcinoma, he typically won't display symptoms until the cancer is in its later stages. This condition can affect a cat's intestinal tract, mammary glands, pancreas and any other organ that can be considered a gland.

Feline Adenocarcinoma Diagnosis

When a cat presents with signs of an illness, a veterinarian will complete a physical examination and history of his symptoms. The vet will want to know if a cat has any new or unusual lumps or wounds that aren't healing. He'll also ask about the cat's digestive behaviors to see if the cat has problems passing stool or urine. Let the veterinarian know if a cat has not been eating normally, has had trouble swallowing food, or if his activity level has changed. A veterinarian may also ask about a cat's mobility, changes in weight or any unusual smells coming from the cat.

Blood tests will be run to see if there are red flags indicating an organ isn't functioning properly. This type of test will also show an elevated number of white blood cells or other abnormalities.

An x-ray is one of the standard diagnostic tools used to get a preliminary image of a cat's organs, cancerous growths, fluid buildups and images of any organs have been displaced as a result of a malignant tumor. An x-ray will help a vet know where ultrasound images should be focused on the cat's body. 

An ultrasound machine uses sound waves to create a live image of an organ within a cat. It can measure the size of organs and cancerous masses, and show the flow of blood in a particular area of the body. Ultrasound technicians and veterinary oncologists use this machine to help guide a biopsy needle, which will collect tissue samples from inside the cat.

A biopsy is done on cells where an adenocarcinoma has been identified. The cells extracted are stained so they can be viewed better under a microscope. The stain is made up of a special dye that contains proteins, carbohydrates, DNA or lipids that helps look for a specific compound, like those looked for when diagnosing an adenocarcinoma in a cat.

When an adenocarcinoma is discovered in a cat, the vet may suggest treatment using surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or cryosurgery. The earlier a cat is diagnosed with an adenocarcinoma, the earlier his treatment can start, and the better his prognosis will be.