Curing Cancer

“There is no illness on earth for which God has not provided a remedy through nature” Paracelcus(1493-1541)

In our quest for answers over the last five hundred years since this prophetic utterance, there have been many forks in the road of knowledge. Some have chosen one direction and others another. Consequently we now have a diverse set of opinions and understandings resulting from different approaches to the learning that is Universal. Integrated Medicine is an exciting discipline that recognises these divergences and seeks to embrace the best of all modalities.
The truth is always found at the points of intersection.

Sri Chinmoy says

“First be absolutely sure
That you know the truth
Before you talk to others
About the truth.”

Excerpt from Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, Part 64 by Sri Chinmoy

I do not profess to know the truth but I am a truth seeker. I enjoy finding points of intersection. In keeping with the tenor of my other posts on this site I am hoping there is some useful information to be found here on cancer in domestic animals.

10 common signs of neoplasia (cancer) in small animals

1. Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
2. Sores that do not heal
3. Weight loss
4. Loss of appetite
5. Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
6. Offensive odor
7. Difficulty eating or swallowing
8. Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
9. Persistent lameness or stiffness
10. Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating

There have been major advances in our understanding and treatment of cancer over the years but the incidence is not diminishing. Moreover it is increasing in domestic animals. Despite increased understanding we still don’t appreciate that cancer is a disease of individuals; individuals who develop disease under certain circumstances when others don’t.

What are the factors and interventions that are not acting in their best interests?

Cancer is caused by confusion at a cellular level, by overgrowth of damaged cells and failure of the body’s natural defence and removal systems.
In other words, it is an overload and a meltdown.
Individuals with weakened immunity or under constant stress may be at risk.
This is the premise underpinning nutritional medicine approach to cancer management and treatments endorsed by many Integrated Veterinary practitioners including high doses of Vitamin C.

Factors that cause confusion at a cellular level can be implicated in the genesis of cancer and injury to cells. Contributing factors such as toxins from cigarettes, chemicals and other well recognised carcinogens can promote cancer growth in susceptible individuals.

Who is susceptible?  That is the million dollar question in all health circles for any disease. Why do some animals get sick or develop cancer and others don’t’?
Breed predisposition,  environment, diet and interventions can all be implicated.

It is often observed that animals develop the same cancers as the people with whom they live. This may be an environmental consideration or looking more deeply, an act of service to their beloved family. In cases I have been involved with, the owners whose animals develop the same cancer, recover or are recovering when their animals are diagnosed.

When I was in Vet school we had a lecture that I will always remember, on cancer. It demonstrated through experiment how cancer is formed. Basically cancer is caused by a failure of communication.

This is as simple as it is complex.

When the cells of the body lose contact with each other and the invisible messages that pass between them are interrupted they become confused and function inappropriately. For example, there are chemicals in cellular structures identified as chalones that ordinarily prevent overproduction of cells. When the flow of chalones is interrupted cells can become cancerous as mitosis (cell division) becomes uninhibited. In one particularly memorable example, a five cent coin was implanted under the skin of a test subject and the interruption this caused to the flow of chalones produced a neoplastic tumour.
From this experiment it was jokingly suggested that money causes cancer. I prefer to see that lack of communication causes cancer. Either way, a failure to connect and work together for the common good is where cancer begins. It is the ultimate rebellion and the last effort to get the message across.

We will all have our own opinions about a subject like this because we all know someone who has died with cancer. I wonder how long ago it was when not many people knew anyone or any animal who had died of cancer and when that trend reversed.

When faced with a diagnosis of cancer in animals the disease is often already well advanced as they are very good at masking early signs and the symptoms are often attributed to other causes. I have been thinking about how I would manage cancer nowadays with all the advances in veterinary oncology. I would certainly advise that anybody faced with decisions be as informed as possible regarding the options available to them. There are veterinary oncologists available for consultation in most states.
It is a little disappointing however that whilst excellent information can be sourced these days, that very little reference is made to the holistic or homeopathic approach.
Cancer management is difficult regardless of the modality chosen.

I have started believing more that a primary tumour should be the focus of attention.  A cancer, depending on type, will usually produce chemicals to reduce the liklihood of others developing.  Cancer is selfish and the primary tumour will want to dominate and prevent others from arising. Once this is removed it is a ‘free for all’ for metastases. There are some very aggressive cancers that metastasise early and in the presence of a primary so it is important to know the enemy. Regardless of type, any cancer arising in an individual is an indication of cancer susceptibility in that individual.
If there is a cancer present, firstly the individual has indicated its tendency to exhibit disease at the cancer level and secondly, until this condition is treated, there will exist a testing period when the body will wait to see what is done about this symptom.  If the cancer is located in a region that can be accessed for measuring and monitoring it can be used as an indicator for treatment. Most conventional responses are full surgical removal. Whilst this approach has its merits and we all want to ‘get rid’ of cancer, there are some definite disadvantages to this reflex.

Firstly, the barometer is removed and secondly the rules then change.
As an illustration, consider a tumour on the skin like a mast cell tumour.
It is visible, measurable and whilst we consider it to be a threat and want to get rid of it, will cutting it out be the end of the problem?
Most may say yes but others will say how can we then know it will not recur elsewhere, perhaps where we can’t see it. From an homeopathic perspective surgery is not always the best choice of management.
Consider that the tumour could be cured rather than removed by force. This enables the disease to be completely accepted, managed and cured by the same force that created it and expressed it, namely the vital force.  There can be a degree of confidence in allowing the body to deal with the problem on its own terms. This is why an homeopathic constitutional remedy can be an invaluable aid to health as it can boost the strength of the vital force.

Some cancers can be extremely aggressive and destructive and will not permit much time before overwhelming the host. It is often important, therefore, to know the enemy so that appropriate steps can be taken. Cancer is a sharp adversary whichever way we choose and the term ‘fighting cancer’ is apt.

There are many authorities who dismiss the views of Integrated and Holistic Veterinary Practitioners.  There are, however, more people seeking our opinions on these matters and I have debated for some time the extent to which I am prepared to voice my opinion.

I crossed the line when I started doing my own research on this topic. Whilst I believe that lots of relevant data has been collected, it may not have been collated and is not readily accessible.
Instead, like all filtered information, we have the standard acceptable official versions of truths and the opinions of those who believe these are incomplete.

I discovered the following information from various sources

From Companionaid.wordpress.com April 2010
“People come to me for advice, I’m not a vet but being a researchaholic makes me an open target.  When something comes up I don’t fully understand I obsessively Google the hell out of it.  So when I got asked about Cartrophen Vet, I went hunting for everything positive and negative about the product.  First I should make it known that I don’t believe medication for animals or people is ever a good idea.  It’s like lying to your body that you’re well when in fact your body never got the chance to heal.

Cartrophen Vet is prescribed for patients with osteoarthritis and other joint problems.  What alarmed me the most about this medication is that it causes unspecific tissue growth.  What that means to a dog or cat with an undiagnosed mass is, if it’s malignant it accelerates the cancer.  So I asked myself, did I want this person whose dog is a rottweiler,  a breed commonly diagnosed with cancer, and also considering she is older, around 6, take this risk.  To me, medication like Cartophen is like playing Russian Roulette.

So what I sent back to the person was, if she was my dog, Cartrophen would not be the answer.  It may take the pain away but it’s no more than a band-aid, which if left on too long leaves an awful mess behind. (By the way, this dog responded very well to a grain free diet and the arthritis abated considerably without cartrophen)

I was inspired to leave a reply, below.

I am a Vet and I am impressed with your common sense advice regarding Cartrophen Vet (pentosan polysulphate). I would like to cite your article in my own blog post with your permission (granted) as I am compiling my own data and information on this subject. You are nine months ahead of me as I have debated whether I should voice my observations.
I have long regarded cartrophen (also known as synovan), to be dangerous, especially in older animals  which is when it is mostly prescribed. As an Holistic Veterinarian taking referrals of cancer, I am alarmed at the numbers presenting with cancer after having cartrophen injections……….As referral vets we often see an over representation of disease and it can be difficult to accurately determine aetiology.

In my previous small animal clinic I began to suspect this link when some of my own cartrophen patients developed cancers. Since having stopped using the preparation myself I now see other’s patients presenting with the same. It is possible that some of the lameness cases presenting for cartrophen injections have deeper disease developing.
The most common is osteosarcoma and liver cancer.
When I used to use it in the nineties, it clearly stated on the label of contraindications that Cartrophen Vet should be used with care in cases of undiagnosed cancer. Although this is a clearly ridiculous comment, it must prompt us to look more closely at the presenting signs of prospective cartrophen candidates. I am not surprised that this label warning has been removed but the basis for it was the capacity to increase blood flow to areas of disease and the warning for potentiating cancer should be upheld. This is still what it does whether the label states as much or not. There are label warnings about using it in cases of existing organ disease.

Sadly, in my experience there are very few, if any, cases of (cartrophen associated) osteosarcoma being fully cured. I am awaiting the outcome of a recent case of very early amputation to compare that to cases of less early and no amputation. So far, in prior cases it has made no difference and survival times are short for this disease regardless of choice of management. Cancer of this kind has its own agenda and life often delivers cruel lessons.

A few more ponderables, no less pleasant.

Histiocytic sarcoma was apparently not reported prior to 1970’s. What else happened then?
We started yearly vaccinations after the big Parvo epidemic of that decade.
Histiocytic sarcoma (along with its benign brother, histiocytoma that we began seeing commonly in dogs under two years post vaccination), are skin tumours associated with immune derangements.  Many other common cancers like lymphosarcoma also arise from immune interference and involve the same cells as those responsible for mounting immune responses.

Recently a very dear boxer dog died at the age of seven years with an intractable condition known as mycosis fungoides, which despite its misleading name is actually a cutaneous lymphosarcoma. His early life was plagued by skin disease and allergy until this was diagnosed at which time he succumbed quite rapidly.
These mysterious and rare diseases are horrendous in their expression and another form of immune derangement.

The immune system has always impressed and intrigued me. I hold it in the highest esteem for its persistence and service. It is extremely clever and adaptable but is also becoming worn down by the barrage of assaults it is forced to endure in the name of science.

The basis of good integrated practice is the nurturing and strengthening of the immune system through diet and minimal intervention.

I would hazard a guess that by far the most common presenting disease in small animal practice in Australia is skin disease. The skin is the principal organ of detoxification and both the first and the last outlet for disease and healing.  It is working overtime under duress with little support and recognition in most modern animal management practices. The skin is not getting the nutrition it needs to do it’s job properly, nor the understanding of the nature of its role in health and disease. As the skin is the sentinel for disease, so too is the gut the seat of disease. How much more then, can the importance of good nutrition be stressed.

I would also suggest that an increasing number of diagnoses in small animal practice include the words, immune mediated or idiopathic. It is time we started looking very closely at the iatrogenic.

As a lecturer in my student days used to say, ‘If you don’t look, you won’t see’.

12 Responses to “Curing Cancer”

  1. From Liz

    I can only verify your thoughts about cartrophen. The three dogs of my own that were treated all developed breast cancer. One of these was a male. One also initially presented with osteosarcoma in her jaw. A fourth neighbor’s dog also developed breast cancer. That neighbor is aware the of another dog treated with cartrophen also developing cancer. The initial warning from the vet was that the dogs must be cancer free. It is our firm belief that the cartrophen was the cause of our dogs demise. My dogs were treated simultaneously. All died within six months of each other.

  2. From admin

    Yes,Leukaemia is cancer.
    Cartrophen 1/Stimulates stem cell activity. Stem cells, like cancer cells are undifferentiated cells
    2/Stimulates important growth factors. Cancer is unregulated growth.
    3/ Promotes Mesenchymal precursor cell (MPC) proliferation. Mesenchymal stem cells have been shown to contribute to cancer progression in a number of different cancers, particularly the hematological malignancies (eg Leukaemia) because they contact the transformed blood cells in the bone marrow.

  3. From Athena

    My dog fell ill and and within a few weeks passed away. It was determined to be Leukaemia. Six months prior I began Cartrophen injections for arthritis, 5 shots one week apart initially then once a month after that. She had received a total of 9 shots. I am now learning of the association between Cartrophen and cancer. I understand it can increase the size of existing tumours, and wondering if there any connection with Cartrophen and Leukaemia?

  4. From Viva

    My Australian Bulldog. Rescue bred in Queensland – so is half Bulldog & Bull Arab & 32 Kgs. Suddenly changed when his companion old Staffie rescue died from old age symptoms. He seemed depressed sat in his bed and his legs & back seemed stiff & painful. His was also limping on his front left leg but that ( I thought ) was the recurrent limp that he got from a dog bite sustained when he was 2.
    Vet said arthritis or bone cancer & body X-ray would be $450. I couldn’t afford that so chose the cartrophen. Within 2 weeks he developed a lump on his left foreleg which grew rapidly. Vet yanked his back leg & twisted it. I was so angry x upset that the vet didn’t even know which leg was causing trouble.
    Another vet (good) X-rayed his leg $120 & told me he had osteosarcoma. He is on metacam & I have him on artemesin, a herb derived from wormwood. I am waiting for more supplies with combination of D3 & omega3. He sometimes can hardly walk. I wish I had not given him the Cartrophen after reading this. I feel it makes sense that it would exacerbate the growth of the cancer & gone to the good vet instead of the hospital where there is no personal care & no time & different vets. I would not recommend this hospital except for an emergency.
    I feel very sad that my beautiful dog who walked 2 hours a day & ate healthy home made meals that their is nothing I can do. With the knowledge I got too late I would certainly have not given him Cartrophen & gone to a good vet in the 1st place. I also would like to say that in the advent of so called Pet Insurance the prices of vets have risen astronomically & most aren’t covered for cancer. The other interesting thing pointed out in this website / I have metastatic bowel cancer. Not the same cancer but co incidentally cancer.

  5. From Megan Evans

    Hello
    In November last year we lost our just turned 9 year old adopted Spoodle (springer spaniel/poodle) Jimmy very suddenly.
    He had always been a very laid back dog during the six months we were lucky to have him.
    His vet recommended Synovan injections every 3 months to help prevent arthritis in his hind legs. They hadn’t caused any problems at all during our care. Jimmy had both knees repaired with his previous owner.
    I went along with the vets recommendations as I thought this would be an educated decision based on current use and evidence of long term administration with other animals.
    Within 3 days of his second Synovan injection he slightly lost his appetite. Unfortunately this was confused with his high levels of separation anxiety and being fussy. He still was active and loved catching his tennis ball.
    5 days after the second injection – severe D and V in the middle of the night. Primarily diagnosed as Hemorrhagic Gastro, he deteriorated instead of recovering and was laid to rest at the specialist hospital with a diagnosis of Immune Mediated Haemolytic Anaemia. Cause unknown – possible underlying cancer not yet detected. We had spent almost three thousand dollars in 48 hours and simply couldn’t afford to proceed with thousands of dollars worth of more investigations and transfusions. He was down to 10% of his red blood cells – within 12 hours. I didn’t want him to suffer any longer.
    After reading this and similar stories I am still left wondering if Synovan was the cause behind Jimmy’s untimely demise. Was a previously undetected disease exacerbated by Synovan? I am also still left with the awful thought that these injections weren’t really necessary in the first place. Could Jim still be with us if we hadn’t administered Synovan?
    I will never ever agree to its use again. And warn others to not use it either. Feed natural supplements, keep up the exercise.

  6. From Nancy

    I wish I had read this information 2 months ago.

    My cat has suffered from arthritis for some time and stopped tolerating her metacam pain medication a few months ago. My vet recommended Cartrophen and it sounded like a great option. I asked about side effects I should be aware of and she said there were NONE, that if my cat showed any unusual effects, it would be due to other things, definitely not the Cartrophen.

    My cat had 3 weekly Cartophen injections. About 10 days after the last one, she suffered a seizure. The vet hospital I took her to said it was likely blood clots or a tumor. I mentioned the Cartrophen to them (this was an after hours clinic) and there was no mention of either the potential blood clots or impact on cancerous tissue of Catrophen.

    My cat is 14 and prior to this, despite her arthritis, was a feisty and fairly active cat. After the cartrophen, she initiatlly showed more activity, then that rapidly decreased, along with her appetite.

    She suffered another seizure a week later. I took her to my regular vet and they recommended the Cartrophen injection she was scheduled for to continue to manage her pain. Stupidly, I agreed. They told me as well the seizures were a result of a brain tumor or blood clots and suggested an MRI but never ANY mention of Cartrophen’s impact on cancer. 10 days later and she had another seizure.

    I can now feel a mass on her spine about mid way down her back that was not palpable before. I am taking her to an acupuncturist to try to relieve some of her pain and encourage healing overall.

    I am so angry and disappointed in my vet for not advising me of the risks of Cartrophen, and feel awful I may have subjected her to this by agreeing to this course of treatment.

  7. From Rosanne

    We had to euthanize our lab who was nearly 11. Started cartrophen injections may 26 2012 she had a ruptured tumor on her spleen 9july 2012 connection????? I would not give them to my pets again.

  8. From admin

    Hello Laura,
    thank you for sharing your story!
    I am sure your dog is in good hands from this account and she is attaining a naturally great old age.
    She has been lucky and well managed to date with your love and care, so keep up the good work.
    You are obviously doing the right things.

    This is an inspiring story, thank you.
    Dr Pearson

  9. From Laura

    Hi just in relation to cartrophen and cancer, my husky had a cancerous tumour 2 years ago removed from her neck. The vet confirmed at the time it was a malignant mixed tumour and it was removed and a salivary gland from mouth was also removed. Our vet said there was no guarantee that cancer had not spread to another place but was hopeful. As my dog was 12 at time I refused to go through chemo treatment because she was old. Her lungs were also clear at the time. Instead, I started my husky on K9 immunity, transfer factor and DHA fish oil to help fight potential cancer. One year passed after her op. No re-occurences. May 2011 another odd small tumor started to grow same place, uncertain if it was another cancer it was removed. Since May after her second op, this year my old girl 14 now has had a clean bill of health. Osteoarthritus has started to creep in now but she still walks very well. Our vet prescribed cartrophen. As I did not know much about cartrophen I said yes lets go with one injection. The next day I started reading up on cartrophen on an MSDS saying it should not be prescribed to dogs that have/cancer and all other reference about tissue growth. I was totally shocked about its effects. Our poor baby had cancer and I felt I was now playing Russian roulette with her. I have now refused any further cartrophen injections from our vet just in case cartrophen sparks up any cancerous undiagnosed cells in her body. I am now very worried about what I did and hoping that K9 immunity transfer factor will fight any cancer cells and keep her immune system strong. I started my dog on synflex two months ago and religiously give her one greenlipped mussel every morning, 3/4 synflex each night for reducing the acceleration of arthritis. I am hoping she will continue to fight strong against cancer. She also loves shark cartilage sticks too.
    So I am just letting you know what I have gone through with my girl. I don’t know if K9 immunity is working for her but I know one thing, she is alive with no obvious signs of cancer so far I am hoping that K9 is keeping those nasty cells at bay and all the fish supplements and good diet is helping. I stay away from supermarket dog food and cook my own heathly foods for her. I know cartrophen will be my last resort for her but while she still loves her walks and pulls me at 14 years of age she is a strong girl.

    Kind regards
    Laura N

  10. From Companionaid

    Since I posted my article on cartrophen vet on Compaionaid, I have received an alarming number of emails from people who’s companions have developed cancer very close after an injection, one even so much as collapsing in the vets office right after an injection! If a vet, or any doctor is using a medication regardless of the situation, knowing that you may be sentencing the animal to death, it is simply irresponsible. There are safer choices we should be trying first.

    I have suggested making simple changes in dogs and cats diets, eliminating wheat as one, and have had great results without the worry of any tragic side effects. This may not work for all, and many would benefit from homeopathic or holistic medicine, but none of these come with a death sentence..

    Start simple, why be so quick to medicate without asking what may be causing the problem in the first place. It seems as foolish as prescribing insulin to a type 2 diabetic without changing their diet.

    I have helped dogs with cancer for 15 years.

    Be a faithful companion
    Kelli

  11. From Edward

    Hmmmm.

    A difficult conundrum. Anecdotally, I have not seen sudden onset of cancer with using cartrophen vet in my own practice (and I use it quite a bit- how, I will explain in a bit).

    I can see how this may be a risk factor, though. I do warn clients of the possible risks.

    I don’t tend to use cartrophen in younger animals, unless they have severe degenerative joint disease- most cases I use it for are old dogs, and the care is more palliative. I use it because of the vast increase in the quality of life that I see in nearly every case. I balance the risk against this, on a case by case basis.

    For instance, I am tending a very old, extremely painful cat at the moment, and Cartrophen has made a really big difference in this case. (Antinflammatories are problematic in cats, especially with chronic use.)

    My first line medicine for arthritic animals is Green Mussel Extract- which I source from http://www.lovelyhealth.com/GREENLIPPED_MUSSEL_ONLINE_SHOP_New_Zealand_Natural_Supplements.htm

    I find that many dogs will improve so much with this, that they may not need any other treatment for quite a while.

    I think cartrophen has it’s place, as long as the risks are fully disclosed, and the cases are carefully selected.

    Dr Edward

  12. From Angela Brook

    Dear Dr Pearson,
    Today I recieved your email re your invitation to your website. My angels work in strange ways! (or not). We spoke last year about my 8yr old Cairn Terrier Archie, who succumbed to Lymphoma in November. So I’m interested to read this section above on Cancer. I also have Maggie a 7yr old Cairn, who has regular Pentosan injections (as did Archie) for luxating patella’s. It is with a mixture of fear and interest, that I read the section on cartrophen injections which I think may be the same or similar. Like a bolt out of the blue, I’m wondering if this contributed to Arch’s illness?? If only I’d read this yesterday. Maggie had a Pentosan injection last night. NO MORE, from now on it’s diet and exercise. I’m sure if she’ loses weight, her knees will feel better anyway. I’m going to take a copy if I may of your article above to my vet. We spent a long time last night discussing the apparent increase of Cancer’s he’s seeing in pets.
    Anyway, thank you for the reminder about your website and your service
    Sincerley
    Angela

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