Vaccine Associated Sarcoma in Cats

As early as 1990 veterinarians started seeing more tumors in cats. There were suspicions that these tumors were vaccine associated sarcoma. In our vigilance to keep our cats free of disease are we actually causing them to have cancer?A diagnosis of feline cancer can be devastating to a cat owner. Then to find out that it may be a vaccine associated sarcoma (malignant tumor) is even more crushing. There is increasing evidence that our actions to keep a cat healthy may actually lead to feline cancer.This phenomenon is now called vaccine associated sarcoma. The phrase "vaccine related" is preferred because there is certain proof that the vaccines cause the tumor. There may be something in the vaccine media that is actually leading to the sarcoma in cats.The bottom line is that tumors are found more frequently where vaccines are given. Sometimes the material used in a vaccine is actually found in some cat tumors. It’s all fairly hard to investigate because of the time that passes between the vaccination and when the tumor is discovered.A vaccine associate sarcoma is a tumor that develops at the site of injection of a vaccination. It’s not known what causes the tumor; if it’s the vaccine or a substance mixed with the vaccine to encourage a stronger immune reaction that causes it.It was if cat’s where getting cancer, but dogs didn’t. Cats that have experienced an injury to the eye have a greater chance of developing a sarcoma in the cat’s eye. Why dogs don’t have this problem, but cats do may be related to the type of vaccine?This would also help identify if a feline cancer was related to a vaccine location.The Vaccine Associate Feline Sarcoma task force recommend that the rabies vaccine be given in the right rear leg, the leukemia vaccine in the left rear leg, and all other vaccines off the shoulder midline area. There was one other recommendation. One opinion is to only vaccinate your cat with vaccines she needs. If you cat is a completely indoor cat, then there little risk of feline leukemia and she probably doesn’t need that vaccine.There was one more recommendation that is most controversial. That recommendation was to give vaccinations less frequently. Vets are not so much concerned that a vaccine will ‘wear off’ if it’s given less frequently than they are that cat owners won’t bring in their cat to the vet for its annual wellness exam.As you can see, looking into the causes of feline cancer and vaccine associated sarcoma is a complicated topic. There are both health and monetary considerations for reducing the frequency of vaccinations in cats.The quest for an HIV vaccine has been a long and difficult road for both researchers and individuals suffering from the virus. As of now, there is no vaccine that can prevent an individual from contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Researchers have taken several different approaches to developing a successful HIV vaccine, with varying degrees of success. One of the factors that make the development of an effective vaccine so difficult is that HIV behaves differently than other viruses. Is able to quickly adapt to medications which is why the most patients take as many as four different drugs to combat the virus.