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Oral Cancer in Cats

Gendler A, Lewis JR, Reetz JA, et al. Computed tomographic features of oral squamous cell carcinoma in cats: 18 cases (2002-2008). J Am Vet Med Assoc 2010;236:319-325.

This is a retrospective study of 18 cats with a diagnosis of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). The objective was to describe the computed tomographic (CT) features of OSCC in cats and identify any imaging characteristics associated with survival time. Oral tumors comprise 3% to 10% of all neoplasms of cats with SCC, accounting for 61.2% to 76.2% of those oral tumors. OSCC is a locally invasive disease that is considered to have a low potential for metastasis. On oral examination under general anesthesia, masses were most frequently found in the sublingual or lingual region (7/18) and in the maxilla (5/18). The study enabled identification of several common CT features of OSCC in cats. One finding included marked heterogenous contrast enhancement of masses and adjacent osteolysis on images of sublingual and maxillary mucosal images. CT may be used to define mass extension accurately and facilitate lymph node extension in cats with OSCC, but these features did not correlate with survival time. Soft palate lesions were noted on oral examination 4 times more frequently as on CT images. These findings indicate that a thorough oral examination is particularly important for evaluation of patients with small lesions or those localized to the soft palate, tonsils, or pharynx. CT imaging of patients with head and neck neoplasia is therefore of value for defining the extent of a mass, the involvement of adjacent structures, and the identification of regional metastasis. [VT]

Related articles:
Wypij JM, Fan TM, Fredrickson RL, et al. In vivo and in vitro efficacy of zoledronate for treating oral squamous cell carcinoma in cats. J Vet Intern Med 2008;22:158-163.