Lymphoma in Animals - Lymphoma in Cats - Treatment and Prognosis

Treatment and Prognosis

Chemotherapy is the mainstay of treatment for lymphoma in cats. Most of the drugs used in dogs are used in cats, but the most common protocol uses cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and prednisone. Gastrointestinal lymphoma has also commonly been treated with a combination of prednisolone and high dose pulse chlorambucil with success. The white blood cell count must be monitored. Remission and survival times are comparable to dogs. Lower stage lymphoma has a better prognosis. Multicentric lymphoma has a better response to treatment than the gastrointestinal form, but infection with FeLV worsens the prognosis. About 75% of cats treated with chemotherapy for lymphoma do go into remission, unfortunately, most cats who have an initial remission relapse, and the median survival for a cat with lymphoma who is treated with chemotherapy is just 6 months. However, about one-third of cats treated with chemotherapy will survive more than 2 years after diagnosis, and a small number of these cats may be cured of their disease. Untreated, most cats with lymphoma die within 4–6 weeks. Most cats tolerate their chemotherapy well, and fewer than 5% have severe side effects. Cats do not lose their fur from chemotherapy, though loss of whiskers is possible. Other side effects include low white blood cell count, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, or fatigue, but these can typically be controlled well, and most cats have a good quality of life during treatment. If a cat relapses after attaining remission, the cat can be treated with different chemotherapy drugs to try to obtain a second remission, but the chances of obtaining a second remission are much lower than the chances of obtaining a first remission, and the second remission is often shorter than the first.

Read more about this topic:  Lymphoma In Animals, Lymphoma in Cats

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