Mike VI, LSU’s tiger mascot, has been diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that will require him to undergo intensive radiotherapy as treatment. Dr. David Baker, Mike’s primary veterinarian, said that he along with other student caretakers recently found the right side of Mike’s face to be swollen. After sedating the 420-pound tiger, they were able to bring Mike to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine where they performed a biopsy. It was there that specialists were able to confirm the swelling as a tumor.
Spindle cell sarcoma is cancer that develops within a bone’s connective tissues. Although there is no cure available for this form of cancer, Mike will still be able to receive stereotactic radiotherapy, also known as SRT, as a form of treatment. SRT aims at the tumor directly so that the normal cells that exist around the tumor remain unaffected.
The treatment will be carried out at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center located in Baton Rouge. While there, Mike will receive the radiotherapy after hours with all the leading technology available. The SRT is hoped to extend Mike’s lifetime from anywhere between a month to two years. Despite the circumstances, there haven’t been any notable changes to Mike’s usual behavior, as he isn’t in any pain.
Mike has served as LSU’s iconic mascot for the past eight years, being only two when he arrived. Fans all around were invited to watch an informative conference from LSU this Monday morning to in order to stay posted on Mike's condition, proving that caring fans wish the best for Mike as his treatment begins.