Skin Cancer (Mucocutaneous Plasmacytoma) in Cats

By PetMD Editorial on Mar. 18, 2010

Mucocutaneous Plasmacytoma


A mucocutaneous plasmacytoma is a rapidly developing skin tumor of plasma cells origin. This type of tumor is rare in cats, but is most often found in the on the trunk and legs.


Symptoms and Types


In addition to being found on the trunk and legs, mucocutaneous plasmacytomas may develop on the mouth, feet, and ears (lip tumors are particularly small and often overlooked). These tumors are generally solitary, solid nodules, either raised or ulcerated.




The underlying cause for the development of these tumors has yet to be identified.




You will need to give a thorough history of your cat’s health, including the onset and nature of the symptoms, to your veterinarian. He or she will then perform a complete physical examination, as well a biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and complete blood count (CBC) -- the results of which should be normal, unless some concurrent disease is also present. The most popular diagnostic procedure is to aspirate a nodule and send it to a veterinary pathologist for further testing. If abnormal tumor cells are identified, your cat may be suffering from mucocutaneous plasmacytoma(s).



If the tumor has become invasive, surgery is typically recommended to excise the tumor and surrounding tissue. Radiotherapy is also conducted in some cats in order to destroy the neoplastic tissue.


Living and Management


Fortunately, most cats respond well to surgery and radiotherapy, and overall prognosis is excellent with treatment.

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