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Pancreatic Cancer (Adenocarcinoma) in Cats

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Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma in Cats


Neoplasm, or tumor, can be either benign or malignant in nature. Carcinomas are malignant tumors found both in humans and animals. This type of tumor tends to be particularly malignant, often recurring after surgical excision. Adenocarcinomas originate in the glandular tissue and are glandular in structure. Adenocarcinoma of the pancreas is a rare tumor in cats, and like other carcinomas it grows rapidly and metastasizes to distant parts and organs of the body. In most cats metastasis is found at the time of diagnosis, thus making treatment difficult for these patients. Similar to other neoplasms, adenocarcinoma of the pancreas usually affects older cats (more than eight years). It can occur in any breed or gender of cat.


Symptoms and Types


There are no specific tumor related symptoms. Following are some of the signs commonly seen in patients with adenocarcinoma of pancreas:


  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Jaundice
  • Poor digestion
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain




The exact cause is unknown, and is classified as idiopathic.




Your veterinarian will recommend a complete blood profile, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis. A determination of the lipase (an enzyme released by the pancreas) level will assist your veterinarian in the diagnosis, as it is often elevated in a majority of patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Your veterinarian will also perform abdominal radiographs in order to determine the presence of any masses or changes in the pancreas tissue. Ultrasonography is also used to further improve diagnostic accuracy. If the above mentioned procedures fail to establish a definite diagnosis, your veterinarian may recommend a surgical biopsy of pancreatic tissue to confirm diagnosis.




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