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Leiomyosarcoma - Stomach Cancer in Cats

Leiomyosarcoma - Stomach Cancer in Cats

Leiomyosarcoma is a painful and aggressive form of cancer that affects the smooth muscles of the cat's stomach and intestines. In today's post our veterinary specialists explain some of the signs of this stomach cancer in cats as well as how the disease is diagnosed and treated.

What is leiomyosarcoma of the stomach?

Leiomyosarcoma is a painful, but relatively rare cancer that affects the muscles of the stomach and intestines in cats. While this disease can be seen in cats of any breed it is typically only found in cats over six years of age. Leiomyosarcoma is an aggressive stomach cancer in cats with a high tendency of spreading (metastasize) to other parts of the cat's digestive tract or other organs.

What causes stomach & intestinal cancer in cats?

As with many cancers that affect both people and animals, more research still needs to be conducted in order to establish the cause of leiomyosarcoma in cats. At this point the cause of this stomach and intestinal cancer in cats is unknown.

What are the signs of stomach cancer in cats?

Diagnosing stomach cancer in cats can be challenging. Often there are no obvious signs of cancer until the disease reaches later stages. Once the disease is more advanced, symptoms may start to appear gradually over a period of weeks or months. To make diagnosis even more challenging, the symptoms of stomach cancer in cats can also be symptoms of a number of other gastrointestinal conditions. 

If your cat has leiomyosarcoma you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Chronic intermittent vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Blood in stool or black stool
  • Gas 
  • Stomach growling

How is leiomyosarcoma diagnosed in cats?

Your vet will do a thorough examination of your cat, and feel around your cat's stomach and intestines to determine if there are any signs of pain, growths, or enlarged lymph nodes. If stomach cancer is suspected diagnostic testing will be recommended. Tests that can help in the diagnosis of stomach cancer in cats include:

  • Blood tests
  • Urinalysis
  • x-rays
  • CT or MRI Scans
  • Ultrasound guided biopsy
  • Endoscopy

Is leiomyosarcoma in cats painful?

Pain is a common side effect with many forms of cancer, and some cancer treatments. Unsurprisingly pain can significantly reduce your cat's quality of life, for that reason your vet may take a preemptive approach to pain management if your cat is diagnosed with stomach cancer. This means that rather than waiting for your cat to show signs of pain, your vet may prescribe medications to help prevent pain before it starts.

What treatments are available for stomach cancer in cats?

Surgery to remove the tumor along with some nearby surrounding tissue, is the most common treatment for leiomyosarcoma in cats. That said, the effectiveness of surgery will depend greatly on whether the cancer has metastasized to other parts of your cat's body. Following the initial diagnosis of stomach and intestinal cancer, further diagnostic testing can help to establish the extent of your cat's condition, and best treatment options.

If your cat has been diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, stomach or intestinal cancer and requires advanced diagnostics or surgery to treat the disease, ask your vet for a referral to our specialist vets at Carolina Veterinary Specialists in Huntersville.  At CVS Huntersville our Board-Certified Veterinary Surgeons perform advanced surgeries, while keeping your pet safe and comfortable.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your cat requires surgery, or has been diagnosed with a serious illness and requires advanced diagnostics or care, ask your vet for a referral for your cat to see one of our veterinary specialists. Contact us for more information on surgery at CVS Huntersville.

Caring for Pets in Huntersville

At Carolina Veterinary Specialists, we accept new clients to our specialty services by referral. Our 24/7 emergency service accepts all clients.

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