Fibrosarcoma is a malignant skin tumor. The cells of the connective tissue (fibrocytes) degenerate and lead to cancer. The causes of fibrosarcomas have not yet been clarified beyond doubt. It used to be thought that the leukosis vaccine triggers this skin cancer - but this is now considered outdated. But what is behind it?
The risk of developing fibrosarcoma increases with age in cats. Especially from the age of 8, cats seem to be susceptible to this type of skin cancer. About one in every 1, 000 older cats develops such a tumor. What could that be?
What exactly is a fibrosarcoma?
Fibrosarcoma in cats is a malignant tumor. Tumors develop when the body's own cells multiply abnormally. In contrast to benign tumors, malignant tumors spread uncontrollably and also affect other parts of the body - causing cancer. If tissue cells are affected by such a malignant tumor, it is called a sarcoma. An osteosarcoma affects the bone tissue, a liposarcoma the fatty tissue - and a fibrosarcoma the connective tissue.
Fibrosarcoma by vaccination? How it came to the myth
Scientists linked the formation of fibrosarcoma in the early 1990s to certain vaccines. Suspected immunizations against rabies and Feline Leukose were the main ones. Certain excipients have been made responsible for the dead vaccines, which can cause dangerous inflammation at the injection site. This should eventually lead to the formation of a fibrosarcoma.
Attention! Do not let this myth stop you from vaccinating your cat. If worried or in doubt, talk to your veterinarian. He will put together an individual vaccination plan for your pet.
Possible causes of fibrosarcoma in cats
It has not yet been definitively clarified how fibrosarcoma develops in cats. Malignant tumors usually develop on parts of the body that have been particularly affected by infections, inflammation or irritation. For example, a leucosis infection can cause cancer-one more reason to protect your cat with a vaccine against this disease.
It is believed that certain skin irritation or minor injuries may lead to fibrosarcoma. It can also be an injection in a vaccine - but that is not the only reason. An injection is always a minor injury. This can also be caused by thorns or tick bites. At the site of injury, an inflammatory reaction occurs; it shows that the immune system reacts to it. It is noticeable by a temporary reddening and swelling.
In rare cases, however, the inflammation does not stop, but triggers an uncontrolled proliferation of degenerated connective tissue cells - a fibrosarcoma arises.
Symptoms of a fibrosarcoma
The fibrosarcoma manifests itself as a bump on the skin. This is a circumferential proliferation, a tumor, in the skin or subcutaneous tissue. Fibrosarcomas feel rough and nodular, they can hardly be moved. They grow quite fast and can - if left untreated - break up.
Suspected fibrosarcoma in your cat: what to do?
For safety, you should keep an eye on your cat after an injection or a skin injury. Do not the swelling and redness disappear after days? Does the swelling even seem to get stronger? Then you best go with her to the vet. He scans the Hautknubbel and takes on suspicion of a tumor by means of a puncture or biopsy some connective tissue cells. In the lab, he then examines whether these are cancer cells. An X-ray examination can also show whether the cancer has spread further, ie metastasized.
Treating fibrosarcoma in cats: surgery and chemo
If the suspicion of a fibrosarcoma in your cat turns out to be true, the tumor should be surgically removed as soon as possible. During surgery, the affected tissue is generously cut out. This is necessary so that the cancer cells do not multiply again. With an immunotherapy before and after the operation, the veterinarian stimulates the immune system of your cat so that they can better fight the cancer cells.
With chemotherapy, your cat gets certain medications that can destroy the cancer cells. Radiotherapy can also help. In most cases, the veterinarian combines these therapeutic approaches to eliminate the cancer as thoroughly and sustainably as possible.