Learning to Live With Pets

Three Treatment Options For A Cat's Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is a very serious type of skin cancer that can affect cats. In particular, these cancerous growths often occur where there is little to no hair, such as on the cat's nose and in other similar locations. Prompt treatment offers your cat the best chance of survival, so it's important to see a veterinarian if you notice anything on your cat's body that is consistent with squamous cell carcinoma. Your veterinarian will diagnose the cancer after one or more tests and then discuss what treatment options are appropriate. Here are some treatments that may be warranted for squamous cell carcinoma.


There's a good chance that your veterinarian will want to proceed with surgery to remove the squamous cell carcinoma from your pet's body. Surgery can be effective against this aggressive form of cancer, provided that it takes place early enough. As such, you can expect that the cat's surgery date will be prompt, rather than having to wait for several weeks or months. Surgery involves cutting away the blemish on the cat's skin, as well as removing some of the surrounding tissue in an effort to get rid of all the cancer cells.


While a standard surgical procedure may be sufficient for treating your cat's squamous cell carcinoma, there's a chance that a more aggressive form of surgery may be necessary. In some cases, an amputation gives the veterinarian the best chance of defeating the cancer and preventing it from returning. Often, the part of the cat's body that the cancer affects will dictate whether an amputation is appropriate. For example, if this cancer appears on the tip of your cat's ear or on one of its toes, it might make sense to simply remove this part of the animal's anatomy.


As with various cancers that affect people, radiation and/or chemotherapy may be suitable forms of treatment for your cat's squamous cell carcinoma. Often, the veterinarian will recommend using one of these forms of treatment in conjunction with surgery. For example, the vet may treat the area with radiation upon completing the surgery, as this can ideally kill any remaining cancer cells to keep them from spreading. Chemotherapy may be useful in the same type of role after surgery. Expect your veterinarian to give you an idea of how successful each of these treatment options may be so that you can decide what will be the best course of action for your cat.

Contact a vet hospital for more information.