Mammary Cancer Average Cost

From 228 quotes ranging from $3,000 - 8,000

Average Cost

$6,000

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What is Mammary Cancer?

Mammary gland cancers in cats are similar to breast cancer in humans. Mammary cancer is usually a malignant adenocarcinoma that appears in one or more of a cat’s breasts. Other forms of breast and mammary cancer in a cat include adenomas, duct papillomas, and sarcomas. Females, as well as males, can develop this form of cancer. When it appears in cats, it can be fatal, even if treated with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Adenocarcinomas are one of the most aggressive types of cancer, metastasizing or moving to the lymph nodes and other parts of the cat’s body. Siamese cats, cats between the ages of ten and fourteen years of age, and intact (not spayed) females are most likely to develop mammary and breast cancer.

Symptoms of Mammary Cancer in Cats

Cat owners and their vets will notice the following symptoms:

  • Swelling of the breasts or mammary glands
  • Infection in and around the glands and breasts
  • Skin ulceration surrounding the masses
  • Sores that don’t heal
  • Pain
  • Fever
  • Tumors appear as firm nodules firmly attached to the underlying muscle and skin
  • Clear, bloody, or milky discharge from the cat’s nipples
  • Dead (necrotic) tissue at the site of the tumor
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unwillingness to eat
  • Weakness

Causes of Mammary Cancer in Cats

Several factors seem to influence why cats develop mammary or breast cancer:

  • Leaving cats intact (not spayed)
  • Allowing the cat to have several heat cycles or litters before spaying
  • Cat’s age (cancer usually begins when cats are between 10 and 14 years of age)
  • Hormones: if cats receive medications with estrogen, they are more likely to develop mammary or breast cancer
  • Siamese, Persian and other Oriental breeds, as well as domestic shorthaired cats are at higher risk of developing tumors of the breasts or mammary glands at younger ages

Diagnosis of Mammary Cancer in Cats

When a pet owner brings in a cat with mammary and breast tumors, the vet will conduct a full physical exam, focusing most on the mass or masses. They will palpate the masses and nearby lymph nodes, looking for a spread of the mass. 

Once this part of the exam is done, the vet orders X-rays, which enable them to determine how big the tumors and whether it has spread. In addition, the vet may order an abdominal ultrasound, looking for a spread of the tumor to other organs. They may also carry out a fine-needle biopsy, where they aspirate lymph nodes to check for the presence of cancer cells. They will order a complete blood count and a biochemical profile, which allows them to check on the cat’s overall health. Other diagnostic tests may include urinalysis and a clotting profile of the drawn blood sample. 

If surgery is decided upon, the surgeon may take a small sample of the tumor and send it to pathology for a biopsy, especially if they are sure the cat has mammary or breast cancer. This biopsy allows the pathologist to determine exactly what kind of cancer the cat has.

Treatment of Mammary Cancer in Cats

When a pet owner brings in a cat with mammary and breast tumors, the vet will conduct a full physical exam, focusing most on the mass or masses. They will palpate the masses and nearby lymph nodes, looking for a spread of the mass. 

Once this part of the exam is done, the vet orders X-rays, which enable them to determine how big the tumors and whether it has spread. In addition, the vet may order an abdominal ultrasound, looking for a spread of the tumor to other organs. They may also carry out a fine-needle biopsy, where they aspirate lymph nodes to check for the presence of cancer cells. They will order a complete blood count and a biochemical profile, which allows them to check on the cat’s overall health. Other diagnostic tests may include urinalysis and a clotting profile of the drawn blood sample. 

If surgery is decided upon, the surgeon may take a small sample of the tumor and send it to pathology for a biopsy, especially if they are sure the cat has mammary or breast cancer. This biopsy allows the pathologist to determine exactly what kind of cancer the cat has.

Recovery of Mammary Cancer in Cats

Generally, the prognosis for cats with breast or mammary cancer is guarded, with a few exceptions. If the cat’s tumor is smaller than 2cm, it may survive for up to three years. Cats with tumors between 2 and 3cm may survive fur up to two years and cats whose tumors are larger than 3cm may survive for up to six months. If the cat’s treatment for small tumors that were caught early is aggressive, the cat may live for between two and three years. Cats who underwent large resections (having one or both mammary chains removed) lived post-surgery for up to three years while those cats who had only the tumor removed lived for only one year after surgery.

It benefits the cat to be seen immediately by the vet when its owner detects a suspicious lump.

Over 60 percent of tumors that have been removed will redevelop within 12 months. Because cancerous mammary tumors are so aggressive in cats, their overall prognosis is guarded, especially since these tumors metastasize.

Mammary Cancer Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Preshes
Tuxedo
9 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Agg
Lazy
Loss of Appetite
Sleepy

How long will it take for the cancer to fully take over and slowly kill my cat? What’s the best way to treat this ? She’s my little girl and I can’t lose her. I’ve had her half my life and I can’t lose her; so how long ? I need to know. I can not wait any longer.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1993 Recommendations
The problem is that it depends on the type of cancer (around 85% of feline mammary tumours are malignant) and whether or not there is lymph node involvement; if caught early radical mastectomy may be performed along with the removal of regional lymph nodes, surgery when combined with chemotherapy is considered the treatment of choice. Without examining Preshes and taking a fine needle aspirate of a lymph node I cannot start to give an indication of life expectancy. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM https://vet.osu.edu/vmc/companion/our-services/oncology-and-hematology/common-tumor-types/feline-mammary-tumors www2.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/mammary-tumors

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Lexi
Domestic shorthair
9 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Mammary Gland Enlargement

I have a spayed 9 year old cat. She was a stray and she brought her kittens to us in 2010. We had her and the kittens spayed and neutered. In December of 2016, I noticed a lump and took her to the vet. We had a cat with mammary cancer before, so I suspected that was the issue. It was and she had aggressive surgery. The vet removed as much surrounding tissue as possible. About 5 months later, I felt another lump and took her back to the vet. The cancer had come back. We opted not to have additional surgeries. The lumps have continued to grow and one is about the size of a golf ball located in her armpit area. My question is, can the vet aspirate the mass to make it smaller and to make my cat more comfortable? I called them, but they said just bring her in. Well, she hates going to the vet and I don't want to make any part of her remaining time scary or painful if it's not necessary.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1993 Recommendations
Aspiration of a mass is only effective if the mass is liquid inside (cyst, abscess, mucocele etc…), for solid tumours it isn’t an option. You should visit your Veterinarian regardless to see if you need to start thinking about palliative care or other arrangements if the mass gets larger. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Jazzy
dsh
12 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Skin Inflamation
Not Social
Poor Appetite
Weight Loss
Skin Crust

My cat was seen - had bad infection. However vet noticed lump on mammary gland and more than likely was mammary cancer. I didn't do further testing due to costs. My cat now has scaps and hot spots is that due to the supposed mammary cancer? If the lump is about 2in how long would you predict her survival?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
494 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. WIthout seeing Jazzy, I'm not sure whether the scabs are due to the mammary lump, but those aren't commonly related. She may have an unrelated skin condition that needs to be treated. It would be a good idea to have her rechecked to have her skin evaluated and have any treatments given that she may need. As far as her prognosis, without knowing more about her, I can't predict that - mammary tumors all behave differently, and it will depend on how quickly it progresses. I hope that she does well.

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Cleo
Maincoon Himilayan
9 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Lumps

I have a 9 month old unfixed kitten. She went into her first heat Dec 16. On the 26th I found 2 lumps on her chest near her armpit. They were about the size of a chick pea. A week later they were the size of a large grape and there were about 10 chick pea sized ones down her stomach. I took her to the vet and they said they have never seen anything like it. They think it is cancer but say she is too young. I didnt have the $500 for all the testing so they gave her a needle in the back of her neck with antibiotics. I took her home and within a week the smaller lumps on her belly were gone but the two bigger ones near her armpit had doubled in size. I wasn't going to do much thinking it was cancer but now I'm wondering. If it was cancer, the lumps would not have disappeared?? The two by her armpit at this point are huge! Probably 4 inches wide and stick out about 2 1/2 inches. The two she has left on her lower belly are now the size of a grape. Any idea what could be causing this? We have her sister and an orange tabby I got when he was just 3 days old (he's 2 weeks younger then them and was neutered at 3 months) My husband believes she will have a short life because of how fast the lumps are growing so he doesn't want to put a bunch of money into her. I on the other hand love her to pieces and don't want to loose her. I don't work so he has the final say when it comes to the vet fees. Can u suggest the cheapest way of figuring out what this is? The only change I have noticed with her is that she really really wants vegetables. I was cleaning out the fridge and the was a rotten container of spinach. She went crazy trying to get it. Bit my hand when I tried to take it away. Not like her at all. A couple days later she found about a 2 inch piece of lettuce on the floor and ate it up before I could get to her. I've never seen this before. She is an indoor cat. Unvaxinated.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1993 Recommendations
The best course of action at this time would be to try and find a charity clinic which would see Cleo in return for a donation or similar, you would need to do a Google search and you may need to travel a distance but it would be worth it; at this stage (since I cannot examine Cleo) it would be best to have a fine needle aspirate done of one of the masses to determine the contents and to examine the cells present in the aspirate. Also check out the links below to find organisations which may be able to help with the cost of veterinary care. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.felineoutreach.org/organizations.html www.dogingtonpost.com/need-help-with-vet-bills-or-pet-food-there-are-resources-available/

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Kitty
DOMESTIC
14 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Lumps

We have a 14 year old spayed female short hair cat. She has some fleshy lumps in several of her mammory glands. My daughter says there was fluid coming from it.

She is overall healthy, shiny coat, good appetite and no infections or ulcerations around the site. She's had these lumps for quite some time and I don't believe they have rapidly increased in size.

My daughter is of the belief that her cat is dying.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1993 Recommendations
Any masses on the mammary glands should be taken seriously and at a minimum should be examined by your Veterinarian to be on the safe side; a fine needle aspirate may be useful to determine the types of cells present within the mass. Once the masses have been checked by your Veterinarian you will be able to either put your daughter’s mind at rest or to have them removed. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Meowmix
short hair
9 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

none

My cat has stage 1, maybe stage 2 breast cancer. Both Mammary chains were removed along with a swollen lymph node where the growth was. We are debating whether chemo is the next best option for her. Cost is not a factor. We are more concerned with her quality of life and longevity.

I have also read that Chemo in cats may not be effective and have not been well tested. With this limited information, what does her prognosis look like and what would you suggest as a treatment plan.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
494 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without examining Meow Mix, and based on limited information, I do find it difficult to give you an idea of prognosis or a proposed treatment plan. If the tumor exhibited HER2 expression, the prognosis is more guarded, but there are a number of other factors. Surgery is often curative with mammary cancer, but the results of several studies suggest that systemic adjuvant chemotherapy may be useful for treating mammary carcinoma after surgical excision. If you have the means to do so, and you have a veterinary oncologist or confident primary veterinarian, it may benefit her to have the chemotherapy. Cats typically tolerate chemotherapy much better than people. It would be best to have this conversation with your veterinarian, as they know her entire situation. I hope that she recovers completely.

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Spool
Persian
9 Years
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

My cat had a tumor, we got it all out (cleared with biopsy)
Now only 3 monthes after she seems to have another tumor (not where the previous one was) but it's where she had stitches, not sure if it was there before- could it be scarring?
Should I put my cat through another operation? Is it wise to remove the whole chain? What are the odds for survival? I don't know how old she is but we're assuming around 9-10
She does not seem to be in pain, has great appetite and acts the same.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1993 Recommendations
If the swelling is at the incision site, it may be a seroma which is a fluid filled pocket which occurs after surgery in some cases; without examining Spool I cannot say for sure but is it a possibility. I would have your Veterinarian check it out to see what's happening and to ease your concerns; your other questions would vary widely so an answer wouldn’t give any precise information. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Abbey
Black
12 Years
Serious condition
-1 found helpful
Serious condition

Hi my cat has breast cancer and has a horrible smell and oozing from the infected area. Is that harmful to humans? When she was diagnosed with this we looked into information regarding this type of cancer and opted not to put her through any surgery being she was older in age. November will be a year since diagnosis.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1993 Recommendations
Whilst it isn’t directly harmful to humans, it is not pleasant and may drip infected material around your home which isn’t good; especially if you have young children. You should visit your Veterinarian for a course of antibiotics and to get it drained and cleaned up. Whilst you may not want the surgical route, it may be required if the infection is severe but this would need to be discussed with your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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