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October 2020 – Breast Cancer Awareness Month

What is Breast Cancer?

Abnormal replication of the cells that make up the breast tissue results in a mammary tumor, also known as breast cancer. Mammary tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

While there is a higher tendency for female dogs and cats to develop breast cancer, there are cases where male dogs and cats develop breast cancer as well. Statistics show that in dogs, 50% of these tumors are benign. Of the 50% that are malignant, half of them can be removed completely, resulting in your pet getting cured. The other half will either recur or spread to other parts of the body following surgery. Whereas in cats, the picture is grimmer: approximately 86% are malignant.

 

Signs and Symptoms

A mass (also known as a lump) found in the mammary glands is the most common sign of breast cancer. Statistics show that the fourth and fifth mammary glands (glands closest to the groin) are most commonly affected. The mass may have normal color, is red or purple in color, soft or hard to touch, and in some cases ulcerated. The breast tissue, which extends from the front limbs to the hind limbs, over the chest and abdomen, may have multiple masses in different locations on your pet’s body.

Other signs and symptoms include discharge from a mammary gland, ulceration of the skin over a gland, painful and swollen breasts. Your dog or cat may also experience loss of appetite, weight loss, and generalized weakness.

 

Treatment Options

Surgery, Radiation Therapy, or Chemotherapy are some of the treatment options available. Whenever in doubt, seek professional help immediately! Early detection and treatment can prevent breast cancer from spreading/ getting worse.

 

Early Detection For Your Protection!

 

Adopted from sources:
VCA Hospitals
Blue Pearl Vet
Manhattan Cats
ACVS