Sugar Rub! Fund for Feline Mammary Carcinoma Research
Donate now!
  Tallulah was diagnosed in July 2009 and made her journey to the Rainbow Bridge in August 2010. Rest in Peace Precious Angel Tallulah.  
Fundraising goal $50,000.00
Recent donations (215 donations)
Name DescendingX Amount
Ms. Melanie Lakey $20.00
Ms. Melanie Lakey $80.00
Kymberly S $50.00
Friends of Sugar $3000.00
Ms. Diane MOE $30.00
Stacy Mitchum $25.00
Ms. Melanie Lakey $10.00
Ms. Melanie Lakey $17.00
Ms. Melanie Lakey $8.00
Felt2Rescue $125.00
Recent donations
Top donors (215 donations)
Friends of Sugar This amount includes donations indented below $6840.00
   Ms. Stephanie Flynn    $700.00
   Ms. Janet Dillavou    $200.00
   Mrs. Patricia Hodge    $25.00
   Ms. Stephanie Flynn    $250.00
   Ms. Ruth Scharbach    $25.00
Arkansas Best Corp. $5000.00
Ms. Jeanette Cereske $4800.00
Friends of Sugar $3806.00
Friends of Sugar $3100.00
Friends of Sugar $3000.00
Ms. Jeanette Cereske $2000.00
Friends of Sugar This amount includes donations indented below $1695.00
   Ms. Stephanie Flynn    $50.00
Jeanette Cereske $1300.00
Sugar Rub! Feline Mammary Cancer Fund

Loved beyond words, missed beyond measure.
"Cats can get breast cancer?"
Sadly, the answer is yes. Our kitty Sugar was diagnosed with mammary cancer in January 2013 and since then I've learned a lot about this hideous disease. Mammary tumors (breast cancer) are one of the most common types of cancer in cats, and the majority of feline mammary tumors (over 85%) are malignant, meaning that they have the potential to metastasize and ultimately end the cat's life. It is likely to occur in 1 out of 4000 cats and it is the third most common cancer in cats. There is a strong correlation between early spaying and a reduction in the incidence of mammary tumors in cats. Unfortunately many kitties like our Sugar, who we adopted from a shelter where she arrived unspayed at age 6, miss out on that window.
Sugar's Journey
Sugar had a unilateral mastectomy and lumpectomy and recovered well. Initially chemotherapy was not recommended. Just three months later I was giving her a Sugar Rub! (breast exam) and I found a lump in the same spot as the first one. I was devastated. Sugar saw her oncologist the next day and two days later she had surgery to remove it. We did get some good news that it was not in the lymph nodes but it did mean that not all of the cells were taken out the first time. So chemotherapy was recommended and she had five rounds.

We were hopeful that the chemotherapy had killed all of the cancer cells in Sugar's body, but the reality is that there is not enough research to give us solid information on how effective chemotherapy is for feline mammary cancer. You can only hope and pray that your kitty will be one of those who survives. Sadly in May 2014, sixteen months after her initial diagnosis, we discovered that Sugar had cancer in her lungs and chest. We made the painful and heartbreaking decision to let Sugar leave this world and journey to her tenth and forever life. We miss her everyday and continue this mission in her memory.
What is Sugar Rub!
When Sugar was diagnosed with feline mammary cancer, I started an organization called Sugar Rub! to raise awareness about mammary cancer in animals and to encourage pet owners to do a Sugar Rub! (breast exam) at least once a month. We are also committed to funding this research study on feline mammary cancer because even though this horrible disease is very aggressive in cats, very few studies have been done. Please visit our website.
Sugar Rub! Feline Mammary Cancer Research Study
Mammary tumors are the third most common tumor diagnosed in cats and the vast majority of the tumors diagnosed in this species are malignant4. Traditionally, the prognosis for feline mammary carcinoma is determined from the stage of the tumor at the time of treatment, the extent of surgery performed to remove the tumor, and the tumor grade. More recently, the addition of molecular characterization adapted from the St. Gallen International Consensus panel using immunohistochemistry for hormone receptor expression, HER2 expression, and Ki67 immunoreactivity has not only improved prognostication, but it has further provided a means of directly comparing FMT to their human counterparts1-3. In humans, this molecular characterization also dictates which adjuvant therapies are utilized. For example, women with tumors that are hormone receptor positive and show overexpression of HER2 will likely benefit from anti-hormonal therapy and HER2 targeting. The benefit of such molecular characterization in cats goes largely underutilized based on the lack of cross-reactivity of anti-hormonal and HER2 therapies between species and the lack of consistent expression of PR, ER, and HER2 in this species.

The current standard of care for cats with localized mammary carcinoma is aggressive surgical excision (unilateral or bilateral mastectomy) followed by adjuvant doxorubicin chemotherapy. Even with early diagnosis, surgical removal, and adjuvant chemotherapy, many cats succumb to metastatic disease, indicating treatment shortcomings.

The treatment of breast cancer in humans has been revolutionized through the use of anti-hormone therapies and treatments that target and block HER2. Other pathways that are being evaluated and targeted in human breast tumors, especially aggressive hormone receptor and HER2 negative tumors, include the PI3K and Cyclin D dependent kinase pathways.5 To our knowledge, thorough evaluation of these pathways has not been performed in feline mammary tumors.

The primary goals of this study are to first expand on characterizing the molecular and microenvironmental signatures of FMT followed by streamlining the testing of novel therapeutic agents and combinations in cats with FMT using a multichannel drug delivery device. Because FMT share many molecular characteristics with those observed in women with aggressive breast cancer, information learned in cats may subsequently be translated to women.

We have begun our study and are initiating a search for patient data on cats diagnosed with a mammary tumor that was treated with surgery for which follow up data are available.

Evaluation of these data will hopefully lead to the discovery of biomarkers that will aid in improving our understanding of this disease, our ability to give more accurate prognostic information, and help guide personalized treatment for cats.

    Donation messages
    For our dear friend Sugar from Angel Charming and his family. --Ms. Melanie Lakey
    Love you always, Sugar. - Charming and family. --Ms. Melanie Lakey
    Thank you, Jeanette, for all of your great work. You are appreciated! --Kymberly S
    In loving memory of Sugar and all who have fought feline mammary cancer. We BeliEVE in a cure! --Friends of Sugar
    In memory of Marzipan --Stacy Mitchum
    For Angel Sugar and her family, from Angel Charming and his family. --Ms. Melanie Lakey
    Lots of love to Sugar from all the Lakeys, human and feline. --Ms. Melanie Lakey
    Eternal love to Sugar and her family, from Angel Charming and his family. --Ms. Melanie Lakey
    In memory of Little Missy --Felt2Rescue
    Eternal love for Sugar from Melanie, Angel Charming and all the kitties in my bunch. --Ms. Melanie Lakey

    Share this page with your friends
    Post fundraising progress | Anne Marie Del Rossi, Director, Data Services | 215.898.3062
    2929 Walnut Street, Suite 300 Philadelphia, PA 19104 | Superuser