Diet and Cancer
Similarities between canine and human cancers are striking;
information learned from one can apply to the other species.
Extrapolation works both ways—known causes of human cancers cannot
be overlooked when studying the causes of cancer in dogs. For
example, we know that farmers appear to experience elevated rates
for several cancers, including leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma,
soft-tissue sarcoma, and cancers of the skin, lip, stomach, brain,
and prostate. The rates for several of these tumors (non-Hodgkin's
lymphoma, multiple myeloma, skin, brain, and prostate cancers)
appear to be increasing in the general population, and lymphoma has
increased in the canine population. Studies to further characterize
the cancer risk among farmers, link the increased incidence of these
cancers to biocides like herbicides, fungicides and pesticides,
engine exhausts, solvents, and dusts.
Children exposed to pesticides from use in homes, schools, lawns and
gardens, through food and contaminated drinking water, and from
agricultural application drift, have been found to suffer from
increases in leukemia, neuroblastoma, Wilms' tumor, soft-tissue
sarcomas, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and cancers of the brain, and
testes. Attempting to identify general causes of cancer and
incidence rates is a complex and difficult process. Common sense
tells us that chemicals formulated to kill one species can harm
another! Texas A & M Veterinary Medical Center’s Oncology department
says dogs are 35 times more likely to suffer skin cancer than you
are, four times as likely to develop a breast tumor, eight times as
likely to suffer bone cancer, and twice as likely to develop
leukemia. Fluoride in the water has been linked to osteosarcoma in
young boys, which is an awful fact since most of the municipal water
supplies throughout the country have fluoride added.
Unlike cat lymphoma, canine lymphoma does not appear to be caused by
a virus. A case-control study to determine a link between
environmental pollutants and an increased risk for canine lymphoma
found two variables positively and independently associated with the
disease, namely residency in industrial areas and the use of
chemicals by dog owners. In epidemiologic studies, lymphoma has been
associated with exposure to chemicals such as phenoxyacetic acids;
chlorophenols; dioxins; organic solvents including benzene,
polychlorinated biphenyls, chlordanes; and immunosuppressive drugs.
Experimental evidence and clinical observations indicate that these
chemicals may impair the immune system.
A National Cancer Institute study suggests that contamination of
drinking water with nitrate, a chemical found in fertilizers, has
been linked to an increased risk of lymphomas, particularly in
agricultural areas. In the human population, cancers of the
lymphatic system have increased by 75% since 1973.
PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
There is hope, but cancer remains a complex disease with multiple
risk factors, including genetics. Reducing these risk factors by
feeding a balanced diet free of pesticides and preservatives,
supplementing with anti-inflammatory Omega-3 essential fatty acids
and antioxidants; protecting the immune system from over
vaccination, and avoiding exposure to toxic chemicals are ways you
can protect your pets. Protection and prevention may not guarantee
immunity from cancer but it was all we had until Avemar or
Unconventional cancer therapies are basically any approach to the
treatment and care of the cancer patient that falls outside
conventional cancer treatments. A small percentage of unethical
people consider cancer a business, they ply upon your desperation to
sell you ineffective “cures.”
There are no miracles, but complementary veterinary medicine
embraces all aspects of holistic therapy, including homeopathy,
Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, nutraceuticals, vitamins and
diet. It is used alone or in conjunction with conventional medical
treatments to diminish symptoms and heal the immune system. The use
of Avemar is proving to be of great value in dealing with
cancer patients and will prove to be of equal value when used for
Proper nutrition can help heal the immune system and deprive cancer
cells of nutrients that help their growth. Tumor cells rely heavily
upon carbohydrates for their energy and rob the body of amino acids.
On the other hand, tumor cells cannot utilize lipids (fats) for
energy while the rest of the body can. As such, diets with increased
fat content may slow tumor growth, allowing the patient to fight
against the tumor.
One of the side effects of cancer is malnutrition. Dr. R.M.
Clemmons, associate professor of neurology and neurosurgery with the
Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the University of
Florida encourages dog owners to provide life-sustaining nutrients.
“Protein content must be maintained at levels sufficient for tissue
repair, but carbohydrates should be held to a minimum.” “…For those
who cannot cook for their dog, a commercial food should be of good
quality, moderate protein (18-22%) content, low carbohydrate (3-13%)
content, and high fat (55-60%) content.” Carbohydrates turn into
“sugar” in the body and sugar feeds cancer cells. Dr. Otto Warburg
received the Nobel prize in 1931 for his discovery that unlike all
other cells in the human body, cancer cells do not breathe oxygen.
Cancer cells are anaerobic, which means that they derive their
energy without needing oxygen. It turns out that cancer cells cannot
survive in the presence of high levels of oxygen. The energy source
for cancer cells is from fermented sugar!
Dr. Dody Tyneway, DVM, owner of the Holistic Veterinary Center in
Calabasas, CA (818-880-0838) believes that kibble, though convenient
and easy to feed, is too highly processed to contain many healthy
precursors and antioxidants. “Kibble is produced through a process
known as extrusion. The food mixture is cooked under high
temperatures, which alters the proteins and nutrients. After the
mixture is cooked, vitamins, nutrients and fats are sprayed back on
after the kibble is processed. Obviously, because kibble is not
completely balanced, we need to add fresh, unprocessed nutrients to
our pet’s feeding regimen whenever possible.”
So, if you are
dealing with a current cancer, or hoping to prevent the disease,
remember the most salient points: diet means fresh foods,
organic wherever possible, raw whenever feasible and supplements
with lots of digestive enzymes, probiotics, wild caught fish oils
and definitely add Avemar or Immunovet to your feeding regimen.
© 2002 Barbara
“Akita-Treasure of Japan, Volume II”