Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most common malignant oral tumor in cats. This tumor type is typically a locally invasive disease with a low metastatic rate so treatment is often aimed at controlling the local disease. If the tumor is small or towards the front of the oral cavity, then surgery can be considered. In patients with large tumors toward the back of the oral cavity, surgery has been shown to be associated with increased clinical signs and does not improve survival times when used as a primary treatment for cats with oral tumors in this location. However, surgery can be combined with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, anti-inflammatory medication (piroxicam), and supportive care (including pain medication, feeding tubes, etc.) in order to improve response durations. Bisphosphonates, including zoledronate, may be administered if there is bone involvement to help strengthen bone and decrease bony breakdown, thereby helping with pain. Radiation therapy may also be used as a single agent treatment modality, but in most cases treatment is multi-modality or in combination with other therapies. A CT scan or MRI may be necessary to better evaluate the extent of the tumor, for treatment planning, and to determine the best treatment options for you and your pet.
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Randhurst Animal Hospital
212 East Rand Rd., Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
Veterinarians serving Mt Prospect, Des Plaines, Arlington Heights, Northbrook, Glenview, Morton Grove, Rolling Meadows, Wheeling, Prospect Heights, Palatine and surrounding areas
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