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Neoplasia is another word for cancer. While tumours can be found at any age, older cats have an increased risk of developing malignant (aggressive) tumours. Veterinary therapy is constantly advancing and some cancers can be treated effectively with surgery or chemotherapy. If you are concerned about any lumps, bumps, sores or scabs, abnormalities with eating, drinking, urinating or defecating, then please contact the clinic. Two of the most common tumours in cats are nasal squamous cell carcinomas and lymphoma/lymphosarcoma.

Nasal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This is a locally infiltrative tumour of the nose, most common on cats with a pink or pale skinned nose. It causes the painful ulceration of the nose and is often seen initially as a pink change, progressing to an ulcerated surface and eventually a scab. In severe untreated cases is can begin to eat away the nose. If treated early with cryotherapy (freezing) or cautery (burning), the progression of this disease can be significantly slowed or halted.


Lymphoma or lymphosarcoma is a disease of the lymphatic system and the cells that help form the immune system of the body (lymphocytes). These cells are found throughout the body. As a consequence lymphoma can occur in almost any body organ. The most common forms include – skin, lymph node, gastrointestinal system associated, central nervous system and systemic disease. This means that there are a variety of different signs that cats may exhibit if they have lymphoma. These include, chronic vomiting or diarrhoea, coughing or difficulty breathing, lumps on their body, especially enlarged lymph nodes, lethargy and inappetance, changes in drinking and urination, and other signs specific to the affected site. Viral disease such as Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) and Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) have been associated with lymphoma in cats. These diseases can be prevented with vaccination, but do require testing before a vaccination course can be started. In many cases Lymphoma can be managed with chemotherapy to prolong and maintain a good quality of life, especially if noticed early in the disease course.