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Lymphosarcoma is a malignant tumor (or tumors) derived from lymphoid tissue (lymph nodes, tonsils, thymus, spleen, etc.). It is an illness that affects humans as well as cats, dogs, and other mammals. Lymphosarcomas are probably the most common tumors of cats lymphoma.
Cats with lymphoma may demonstrate only very vague problems. Progressive lack of appetite, lethargy and weight loss are most common. Depending on which organs are affected, other signs such as chronic diarrhea, vomiting and difficulty in breathing may occur. Many diseases can cause these signs, and as with any problem, diagnosis should be based on examination by your veterinarian and appropriate tests.
Many forms of lymphoma in cats are treatable with surprisingly good initial results. Cure, however, is unlikely. Unfortunately the average survival of lymphoma in cats is only six months. Chemotherapy is the most common form of treatment for lymphoma in the cats. If the cat cancer involves only limited sites of radiation therapy, laser treatments and surgery can be performed in addition to chemotherapy. Chemotherapy treatments can be administered in a fairly convenient manner, generally as outpatient procedures during a scheduled visit. The drugs for lymphoma in cats are usually given by injection, intravenously. Some can be given orally at home.
Investigative treatments for lymphoma in cats using immunotherapy and nutritional supplementation may also be available. According to the Leahy Animal Hospital in New York, immunotherapy involves using agents to stimulate the defense system or initiate normal sequences of development in the immune cells of the body or in some cases, the cancer cells themselves.
Photo by Debbie Schiel