Monday, September 08, 2008

Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker

I'm sorry I haven't been very sociable. Frances is not out of the cancer woods yet, unfortunately. The biopsy was negative, but there's been some cat oncology studies about mysterious inflammations where they found the lumps pretty much act like and eventually turn into cancer, even when the pathology is all negative. What's most worrisome is 1) she's lost weight since the last vet visit the winter, a whole pound (from 12 pounds). She does get much more exercise in the summer, though, so it could just be seasonal weight loss. And 2) it's about 3.5 centimeters in diameter. Yeah, a big lump.

They think it's a Vaccine-associated sarcoma, which occur occasionally at the sites of vaccinations on cats. From the articles I've reading, the figures are 1 in 1000 to 1 in 10,000. That's per shot, not per cat.

The treatment is euphemistically called "aggressive surgery"; e.g. amputation, if it occurs on a limb. The occurrence of these sarcomas is evidently high enough that the US vet association has made guidelines for where kitties now get their rabies and feline leukemia vaccinations - one in the right hind leg and one in the left. We're just having a hard time trying to decide whether that's appropriate, when none of the actual lab reports have come up with a definitive reading on cancer. On the other hand, it's so BIG. And it is near the vaccination site and she actually did get a lump after a previous vaccination, which eventually receded, but it wasn't nearly so big and it wasn't on the same spot.
The longer we dither the greater chance that if it is some kind of proto-cancer it'll metastasize. After that, there really isn't any treatment.

Bah. The cat is annoyed because she got shaved again for lump measurement, plus all the other ignominious vet things like the taking of the temperature (I think I can understand about being annoyed about that). Otherwise it's a beautiful evening. I think it will involve beer.

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