Basal Cell Tumor
What is a basal cell tumor? A basal cell tumor is an abnormal growth at the base of the epidermis (top layer of skin) and can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). They can occur on any part of a cat’s body, but are more prevalent on the head, neck and shoulders.
How does my cat get a basal cell tumor? It is unknown how cats develop basal cell tumors. Fortunately, most cases are benign.
How do I know if my cat has a basal cell tumor? When you pet your cat, you may feel a hairless growth or bump, especially on the head, neck and shoulders. Your veterinarian will need to conduct a complete blood cell count, biochemical profile and urinalysis as well as take X-rays and do a fine-needle aspiration or biopsy of the mass to confirm this condition and if it is benign or malignant.
What can I do about a basal cell tumor? Surgery is the best option to remove these tumors and prognosis is good that the tumors will not re-appear. It is vital to have your veterinarian address these tumors at the earliest signs, because some benign ones left intact can become spread and become cancerous. Cryosurgery is a viable alternative for removing small tumors. These tumors may spread on the skin but rarely reach the organs.
Is there anything I can do to prevent my cat from getting a basal cell tumor? There is no known therapy or treatment that is available to prevent basal cell tumors from developing in your cat.
Are there certain breeds that get a basal cell tumor more often? Yes. Domestic longhair, Himalayan, Persian and Siamese breeds are most prone to developing basal cell tumors. This condition is more common in cats, particularly older cats, than in dogs.