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 A very aggressive cancer:  Vaccine-Associated Feline Sarcoma


Photo courtesy of Robert W. Cauley

George at age 15


The necropsy indicated a brain stem tumor in my beloved cat, George, who was 15 years old. He was only sick for five days and quietly passed on in my arms.

From my research, that kind of tumor usually causes severe problems such as seizures, but George didn't have any. He did become blind the last four days of his life. That type of tumor may be related to the MANY vaccinations he had up until 1994 - before I became better informed about to dangers of over-vaccination.

George at age 12


As listed on my Favorite Links Web PageThe following Web Site has an enormous amount of helpful information regarding vaccinations and the very aggressive  cancer, Vaccine-Associated Feline Sarcoma.

Sylvia's Journey of New Hope

Our heartfelt mission will always be "Education Before Vaccination"


There are other RESOURCES for information to become more INFORMED about this deadly form of cancer, please click on the underlined Links below:


Feline_VAS_Support Vaccine Associated Sarcoma Support Group

"Cat owners should be aware of the risks of feline vaccine related sarcoma."

"This list is a support group for cat owners who have a cat that has VAS - Vaccine Associated Sarcoma and for owners who have lost their cats to Vaccine Related Cancer.

Our group's purpose is to support each other during our cat's journey and if necessary support each other with the loss of our cat."


Shorti was our very special feline who fought as hard as she could against this horrible cancer.


"Please be aware of the risks of Feline Vaccine Related Sarcoma / Cancer"

"What is the problem? For several years a growing number of cats have developed cancerous tumors at the location site of vaccines. Vaccines such as distemper, rabies and feline leukemia have caused these tumors in what statistics are showing to be anywhere from 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 10,000 vaccine injections. The success rate for treatment of these tumors is unfortunately extremely low.

What should we do? Please speak to your Vet! Your vet should tell you the risks. Also a vaccine protocol is being advised to veterinarians. Giving a 3-year rabies vaccine annually should be avoided. Vaccinations should not be given between the shoulder blades, if a tumor develops, it is close to impossible to treat. Rabies and Feline Leukemia vaccines should be administered in the hind legs. You may also want to discuss with your vet how necessary it is for your cat to receive all of these vaccines. Not all cats may need every vaccine; indoor cats may not need the same vaccination protocol as outdoor cats. The veterinary task force is recommending that single indoor cats not be vaccinated with Feline Leukemia because the chances of them getting VAS (Vaccine Associated Sarcoma) is greater than getting Feline Leukemia.

Whether to vaccinate or not to vaccinate your cat is a decision you should make after knowing all of the facts. And as a cat owner you have a right to know about the risks and benefits of vaccines so that you can make decisions that you can live with.

What should I watch out for? After your cat has been vaccinated, a small lump could develop, but this could be a normal reaction. BUT, if there is a lump, please call your vet and let them know about it. IF the lump is STILL there 6-8 weeks after being vaccinated, you should contact your vet again. If your vet does nothing about this 2-month-old lump, go to another vet, this lump should be biopsied. Early detection and early removal might save your cat's life. Sometimes these cancerous tumors will develop within this short period of being vaccinated but sometimes it could take years. Most importantly: if you notice a small lump develop after vaccination at the injection site, notify your vet immediately."


Bean's Feline Vaccination Sarcoma Page

"In honor of Bean, the bravest cat I ever met, I hope to educate all cat owners about Feline Associated Sarcoma.  Our hope is that we can spare other cats and their families the physically and emotionally painful journey we have experienced."


Vaccine-Associated Feline Sarcoma Task Force - Web Page of the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association)


"The Vaccine-Associated Feline Sarcoma Task Force (VAFSTF) was formed in November 1996 in response to the increased incidence of soft tissue sarcomas occurring at vaccination sites. The goals of the VAFSTF are to facilitate investigation of the epidemiology, etiopathogenesis, treatment, and prevention of these malignancies, as well as to disseminate information to veterinarians and the cat-owning public. The VAFSTF is a joint effort of the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and Veterinary Cancer Society (VCS), and includes representatives from each of the groups, plus veterinary researchers and clinicians, and representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS), and the Animal Health Institute (AHI).


Caring for Pets With Cancer  "These are the personal lecture notes of Dr. Kevin Hahn. "


The following Group is a great source of information for keeping informed.  Be sure to check out the 'wealth of information' available in their Files Section:



Feline Vaccine Associated Sarcoma Bulletin Board is a message board for cat owners to discuss various subjects which ARE NOT related to the care of cats with VAS or dealing with the loss of our cats....This group is for people who wish to contact owners about litigation, legislative changes or other types of activism."



Copyright 1995-2009 Helen L. McKinnon All Rights Reserved

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