My veterinarian found a lump on my cat

Question: 

My veterinarian found a lump on my cat and did a test that shows she has lymphoma. Should this have been noticed earlier? Did I miss the signs and symptoms? I feel terrible.

Answer: 

It is unlikely that you “missed” anything. The symptoms of lymphoma in cats vary depending on the location and extent of tumor involvement. For most cats, lymphoma is not painful. In fact, it is not uncommon for the veterinarian to be the one to find a lump (or lumps) under the skin in the area of the lymph nodes: under the chin, in front of the shoulders, or behind the knees during a regular physical exam. Some cats have non-specific signs such as decreased appetite, vomiting, or a sluggish activity level. Occasionally a cat will experience acute limb swelling which is a more apparent sign that something is abnormal. Cats with intestinal lymphoma generally experience vomiting and/or diarrhea, along with weight loss. Lymphoma in the chest cavity may cause a cough or intolerance of exercise. Lymphoma of the skin can occur as a single, or as multiple, nodules (lumps). As the condition progresses signs will worsen. It sounds like your cat may be in the early stages of disease which increases the likelihood of longer term survival.

A Board-Certified Veterinarian is the best clinician to treat your cat for lymphoma. The closest ExpertVet certified hospital to you is listed at the bottom of this page. For additional locations, click here.