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Ask Dr. Deb Your Own Question
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 9754
Experience:  I have loved and owned cats for over 45 years.
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My cat ( Ragdoll-Birman longhair, neutered male, born

Customer Question

Hello, my cat ( Ragdoll-Birman longhair, neutered male, born Oct 2007 ( 7.5 years old) has a darkred lump on his toe. It looked like a cyst. I have tried to drain it ( I have many years of experience and have some medical training) There was no pus in it, it only bled VERY much!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The surgery estimate from my Vet is almost $ 700 ( under full anesthetics) which I cannot afford at this time. If it is only a hemangioma, I would tend to just leave it alone instead of putting my cat through anesthetics, surgery and amoutation of a weight bearing toe... Could a simple blood test tell the difference whether this is a benign hemangioma or cancer? The tumor/cyst bleeds heavily if pierced with a needle. There is no other mass or fluids in it. Just blood. If it were cancer what is the survival rate and time after surgery?
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Deb.
I recently came online and see that your question about Oscar hasn't been answered. I'm so sorry that you've had to wait for a response, but if you still need assistance, I'd like to help if I can.
I can understand why you might this this mass was a hemangioma but, unfortunately, the bleeding that you saw after aspiration or puncture with a needle wouldn't necessarily make such a diagnosis more likely. Even ordinary cysts may have a large blood supply and thus would bleed if punctured.
Blood tests are not likely to point in one direction or not either since changes in these values are rarely seen with masses, cancerous or otherwise.
Even though all you see is blood, it's possible that other cells are present which might be helpful in determining if this is a cancerous mass or not. If your vet didn't examine cells under a microscope, then this may be something to discuss with them. Alternatively, the slide could be sent to a pathologist for review. Of course, a biopsy or the entire mass submitted for evaluation is the best way to determine what a mass might be but an aspirate might provide additional information and might help you decide whether or not to remove it.
If this mass is cancer, then the prognosis and biological behavior very much depends on the type of cancer that it is. There are just too many possibilities for me to speculate about these questions without a specific diagnosis.
It is fair to say, however, that most patients will do better if a cancerous mass is caught early and removed early before it has time to spread to other organs (if that's what it tends to do since some cancers do not tend to metastasize but rather invade local tissue).
Since he's otherwise not particularly bothered by this mass, another approach might be to monitor it's rate of growth. Cancerous masses tend to enlarge over relatively short periods of time while benign ones grow much more slowly (if at all). If you don't note any dramatic change within one month, then perhaps it's less likely to be a serious mass.
I know this is a difficult decision to make but I hope this has helped provide perspective and other options to consider. Again, my apologies for the delayed reply. Deb