Treatment for Cancer
There are many types of cancer and many treatment options. At Holistic Veterinary Care, we work with both general practice veterinarians and oncology specialists to provide treatment alternatives for pets with cancer. In its simplest definition, cancer is an inappropriate division of cells. The cells divide continuously without regard for the normal control systems within the body. When cells divide unchecked, they cause pain and/or interruption of normal body functions.
Western medicine views cancer as a primary disease process. From a holistic perspective, cancer is a symptom that results from underlying immune dysfunction. This dysfunction may be a result of nutritional deficiencies, accumulated toxins, chronic inflammatory processes, etc. When we treat cancer using holistic principals, our goal is to detoxify, to strengthen the immune system and to provide the patient with the nutritional components needed to combat the cancerous process.
Specific protocols on treating the patient with cancer depend on the type of cancer, the overall condition of the patient and whether they are undergoing concurrent Western therapies such as chemotherapy or radiation.
Nutrition and Nutritional Supplements
The foundation of holistic cancer treatment is nutrition. If the body is not receiving the correct nutrients, the immune system will not be able to combat cancer. While specific recommendations depend on the individual, a good general starting point is to get the pet off of all grains. Feeding a canned, grain-free or raw food diet is often of benefit. Raw food is not appropriate for all patients with all conditions, so it is best to consult with a veterinarian prior to starting a cancer patient on a raw food diet.
For the cancer patient, even the most comprehensive diet is usually not enough nutrition. These patients require higher levels of specific nutrients in order to optimize immune function. In addition, certain plant and mushroom extracts have well documented anti-cancer properties.
Acupuncture and Herbal Therapy
Acupuncture is used in cancer patients to control for pain and provide the patient with more energy. Many practitioners also believe that acupuncture can help stimulate immune function.
In addition to acupuncture, we often prescribe Chinese and Western herbs. Many of these herbs have been used as traditional treatments for cancer. The right combination of herbs and nutrition can have a profoundly positive effect on cancer patients.