Kitten may have cancer

Kattmom

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Hello. I am looking for any advice I can get. After the death of my older cat we decided to get a new kitten one week ago. So we heard of someone who had a kitten of 5 months old. Soon after we got him, I noticed he had a visible lump on the upper front leg. It is slightly soft, attached, and under the skin layer. I took him to the vet, who thought it warranted a needle biopsy, although he said it was unusual to find malignancy in such a young cat. The biopsy came back with abnormal cells. The vet wants to remove the mass next week.
After looking up things on the internet, this looks to me like a fibrosarcoma and the prognosis is not good. We had significant vet bills from our older cat's illness and though we can cover the cost of the surgery if it leaves a good chance of the tumour being cured, further treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy etc. are simply out of the question. It seems these sorts of tumours are very likely to recur after surgery. We don't have thousands of dollars for vet bills. I don't know what I m looking for by posting on this board, maybe any advice?
 

fionasmom

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I am so sorry that you are faced with this after the loss of your previous cat. My GSD had melanoma on his leg 4 years ago, so these are some things I would ask.

They don't know from the needle aspiration exactly what it is? Of course, anything suspicious should not sit there regardless.

Can they get clean margins if only the mass is removed? What is the risk of microscopic invasiveness of the tumor? Brace yourself, as it might be characterized as potentially invasive.

Sometimes these can be followed up with radiation alone if the grade of the tumor is low, so you have to know the grade once it is removed.

Since it is on his leg, amputation is an option. This is not as gruesome as it sounds, and it might also give a complete cure with no follow up treatments. It also might not be as expensive as you might think. Animals adjust very well to three legs and go on to live very happy lives. My dog has only had three of his for the last few years and while he is now almost 15 and has multiple medical conditions which will probably not allow him to live much longer, he will not die from melanoma. In fact, a recent assessment showed no activity in the closest lymph glands.
 
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Kattmom

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Thank you for replying. All he said about the needle biopsy was that he saw abnormal cells and so wanted to remove the mass. I have had this kitten just one week and I am still trying to get over the illness and death of my cat and now I have to deal with this. I am on a very limited budget as I am unable to work and I probably shouldn't have got another cat but I didn't think that would I would be faced with such a serious and costly health issue.













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fionasmom

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Discuss all this frankly with your vet and make it clear that you need the best information possible without any extra procedures. Your vet is correct to want to remove something that has abnormal cells. Ask what his experience has been with this type of tumor on a leg and if he thinks amputation might be the best solution.
 
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Kattmom

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Today I did talk to him and he says that he thinks most likely that once the lump is removed that will be the end of it and it will not return. So I feel somewhat reassured. Of course he said that until there is a histology report it can't be known for sure.
 

hopscotch

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Abnormal cells is a catch-all that could mean a whole bunch of things, not just cancer. For example, it could be inflammation from an infection or skin irritation. Some lumps are fatty and benign and never come back once removed. Have you ever watched the show Dr. Pimple Popper? :) Lots of that sort of thing on there. I hope for the best for you and the kitten.
 
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Kattmom

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Update: My kitten is having surgery today, now just waiting for any news, though of course the real answers will come when the results come back from the lab.To me, it actually looked like the lump is less prominent now then it was two weeks ago. Looking forward to finding some answers, though I am very anxious too.
 
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Kattmom

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An update: my kitten Finn had his surgery. Biopsy results came back that it was a histocytic mast cell tumor which is very low grade. Good that it was removed anyway and it is believed to be a clean removal so should be no future issues.
 
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