A cat is not a small dog: treatment options in cats with cancer and managing side effects

Speaker: Sue Murphy

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A cat is not a small dog: treatment options in cats with cancer and managing side effects

Cancer is a major disease of cats in terms of health and welfare with an estimated incidence of around 1 in 5 cats developing the disease during their lifetime.  Cats present specific challenges to oncologists in terms of diagnosis and management of cancers, not least in terms of their ability to tolerate specific drug regimes.  For many years feline cancer medicine was dominated by virally induced Lymphoma.  While Lymphoma is still a major problem in cats, the increase in vaccination has reduced the incidence of this disease and allowed other tumours to become prominent players, particularly diseases such as Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Mast Cell Disease and Injection Site Sarcomas.


This webinar aims to look at feline oncology in more detail with regard to approach and diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.  More specifically the webinar we will explore:


  • The special considerations in cats with regards diagnosis and treatment.
  • Special considerations for treatment modalities in cats
  • Cancer-related syndromes in cats and their management
  • The manifestation of treatment-related problems in cats and the specific management of side-effects.
  • Particular emphasis will be placed upon the special considerations in cats with regards drug metabolism, nutritional support during therapy and prognosis of individual diseases.


We will relate these considerations to the current approach and treatment regimes for the most common types of cancer in cats.  These will include:


  • Mast cell diseases: Including both cutaneous and visceral forms and the use of surgery and chemotherapy.
  • Injection site sarcomas: Including the challenges to diagnosis, the role of both surgery and radiation and decision making in terms of how we vaccinate cats.
  • Mammary Tumours: Including the use of adjunctive chemotherapy.
  • In the final part of the lecture we will look at horizon scanning in terms of the potential for new diagnostic tests and the development of new drugs and biological approaches to feline cancer.


At the end of this webinar you should:

  • Appreciate the specific challenges of treating cats with cancer
  • Be able to recognise major feline specific cancer syndromes and manage them
  • Understand treatment modalities and their specific side-effects in cats and how to manage them
  • Be able to apply the above to the management of feline-specific cancers encountered in practice.