Dear Doctor: Mast Cell Tumors


Q. During a routine check-up, my cat was diagnosed with mast cell tumors on her skin. How worried should I be?

Danielle Castellani
Hoboken, New Jersey

Dear Ms. Castellani,

A. While a diagnosis of mast cell tumors on the skin is of concern, it’s not super-high on the list of physical ailments to worry about. The prognosis for most cats with this condition is very good. Surgical removal of such tumors is usually curative, with little chance of recurrence at the surgical site, or of spread to other sites in the body.

Cat owners who regularly check their pets’ coats may be able to detect skin mast cell tumors on their own and get to the doctor before waiting for the next routine exam. You may notice small, firm, raised hairless nodules on the head, neck, trunk, limbs or other sites on your cat’s body. They can be intermittently itchy or red.


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