Feline Fibrosarcoma Explained

Feline fibrosarcoma is an aggressive form of feline cancer. Fibrosarcoma in cats results in malignant tumors in the connective tissue and epidermis. It is a rare, vaccine-induced form of cancer, meaning that the tumors of fibrosarcoma form in response to a vaccine that your cat is given. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are two of the most common treatment options for feline fibrosarcoma.

What Causes Feline Fibrosarcoma?

When your cat receives a vaccine, particularly a vaccine with an adjuvant that helps to deliver the vaccine to your cat's system, the skin around the area becomes inflamed. Although the connection between this inflammation and feline fibrosarcoma is recognized, it is not well understood what causes feline skin tumors specifically.

Fibrosarcoma tumors grow rapidly and spread quickly to other parts of the body. Your cat's fibrosarcoma may metastasize to one or more bones in your cat's body. Catching feline fibrosarcoma quickly and treating it adequately are therefore crucial measures toward returning your cat to a healthy state.

Symptoms of Feline Fibrosarcoma

The most common symptoms of feline fibrosarcoma include:

  • Difficulty chewing and eating
  • Difficulty moving or pain while walking
  • Swelling
  • Unexplained bleeding or discharge

If you notice one or more of these symptoms in your pet, take your cat to a veterinarian for immediate examination.

Diagnosing and Treating Feline Fibrosarcoma

To diagnose fibrosarcoma, a veterinarian will first conduct a thorough physical exam of the animal. He will also take x-rays and a blood sample. In cases where the tumor is easily identifiable, a biopsy of the tumor itself may be helpful in determining the nature of the cancer.

Feline fibrosarcoma is similar to other, more common types of feline cancer, including osteosarcoma. Fibrosarcoma is a rare form of feline cancer.

A fibrosarcoma diagnosis is not a death sentence, although the cancer does carry with it a high mortality rate. Typically, a veterinarian may prescribe any combination of three treatment plans to address fibrosarcoma in your cat.

First, surgery may be necessary to remove a tumor. The viability of this option will depend upon the severity and progression of the cancer, the location of the tumor and your cat's overall health and age.

In addition to, or instead of, surgery, your veterinarian will likely prescribe radiotherapy to treat fibrosarcoma. Radiotherapy serves to relieve your cat's pain while slowing the progression and spread of the cancer.

If the cancer has metastasized to other parts of your cat's body, chemotherapy may be a viable option. Chemotherapy is a physically taxing and expensive form of treatment, and is considered to be a final resort option. However, it is effective at eliminating cancerous cells from your cat's body.

Finally, your veterinarian will likely prescribe a pain medication for your cat during these treatment options, all of which may be painful and traumatic.

Feline fibrosarcoma affects a small percentage of cats. If you are concerned about feline fibrosarcoma, speak with your veterinarian about prevention plans. Certain vaccines carry a higher risk of fibrosarcoma development than others. With proper prevention and prompt treatment, you will be best prepared to protect your cat against feline cancer.