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Companion Animal Practice
Feline lymphoma 1. Principles of diagnosis and management
  1. Alison Hayes

    Alison Hayes graduated from Glasgow in 1991 and spent five years in mixed and small animal practice in north‐west England. She subsequently undertook a three‐year Blue Cross residency in oncology at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket, where she is now a clinical oncologist. She holds the RCVS certificate in veterinary radiology and an MSc in clinical oncology from the University of Birmingham medical school.


LYMPHOMA is the most common malignancy in cats and accounts for approximately one‐third of all feline tumours. Feline lymphoma in its various guises is a relatively frequent diagnosis in UK practice. This range of presentations poses a diagnostic challenge for practitioners, and persistence and resourcefulness are often needed to obtain a definitive diagnosis. Furthermore, response to treatment is not always easy to predict as many cats enjoy sustained remission and even cure with practice‐based therapy, while other cases respond poorly and thus have a limited life expectancy. Communicating the evidence to an owner while presenting a fair and realistic overview of what is to be expected can be difficult, but this is necessary to achieve informed consent and owner involvement in therapeutic decision‐making. This article discusses diagnostic and management principles for feline lymphoma, and reviews the current literature on therapy as it pertains to choices in case management in the practice setting. Part 2, to be published in the next issue, will focus on specific disease presentations.

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