Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cancer and Diet

   One thing that amazes me most about standard cancer treatment is that no one ever talks much about what types of foods might help you beat cancer.  I guess since many people lose weight with cancer, the idea is to get them to eat whatever they will, especially if nauseated from radiation or chemo.  The thing is, cancer is anaerobic, it loves an acidic environment, and it feeds on sugar.  So, it kind of makes sense that if you eat foods to increase oxygenation in the body, exercise, and reduce acidic foods like sugar, cancer won't fare as well as if you eat willy nilly.
     About 3 years ago, my dog was diagnosed with grade 2 mast cell tumors.  The vet operated on her leg, but said the tumor's tendrils were wrapped around her tendons and he could not remove it all surgically.  We were given the usual choices of amputation, radiation, or chemo to attempt to remove the rest of the tumor on her leg, and the one above her eye.   The vet was honest, and admitted that these specific tumors did not respond well to radiation or chemo, so we declined those treatments.  It didn't make sense to amputate either, since she had a tumor over her eye that could still spread and cause problems.  The vet declared that he couldn't cure her, and the best he could do was keep the pain down some.
     Since I was engrossed in study at that time in Holistic treatments, I researched every alternative cancer remedy I could find (for humans), and did my best to convert them to 13 pound doggie doses.  My daughter's dog Dyppy became my bona fide guinea pig for alternative cancer treatments.  The vet explained that it isn't the tumors that usually kill the animal, it is the toxins produced by her histamine reaction to them that do the damage, leading to severe inflammation throughout the body, especially in the stomach and intestines.  The result is bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, bloody diarrhea, and eventual death.  If I could keep the inflammation reaction down in her body, she might be able to last longer.  He suggested that I put her on Temeril P, a combination prednisone and antihistamine, which would help.  It has pretty serious side effects though, and only 10% of the dogs survive the next year with tumors as severe as Dyppy's.
     As I researched alternative cancer treatments, a common theme arose around food and diet.  Most plans suggested making the patient's body a very unwelcome place for cancer to be.  Most human alternative cancer therapies insist on the removal of all sugar, and all foods which create acidity in the body, specifically saturated fats, alcohol, starchy carbs, sugar, meat and salt.  Many of the cancer diet protocols call for an increase of very alkaline foods like raw, organic, whole veggies with significant "green" drinks, and no meat.  Some plans allowed for vegetables to be cooked or steamed, but the general consensus is no meat, no sugar, no hydrogenated (trans) fats, and lots of veggies.
     The Budwig Diet, which consists of low fat cottage cheese and flax oil, is an anti-cancer protocol which provides essential fatty acids (Flax) and a sulfur based protein (cottage cheese) together to supplement the body with fatty acids that are missing in cancer patients.  I have used this intermittently with Dyppy, with mixed success.  She doesn't like the taste, so I usually have to disguise it with some other food.  If I developed cancer myself, I would use the Budwig Diet, as the chemistry and research behind it are sound, and I believe it is beneficial to get adequate essential fatty acids to maintain health.  I still use it for Dyppy, but I can never get her to consistently eat it before it goes bad, so her case is more difficult than human consumption would be.
     After researching species specific diets for carnivores, I decided that I would not totally eliminate meat from Dyppy's diet, as the human diets suggest.  Much of the information I found on dogs indicated that many of their health problems may be related to the chemicals, additives, preservatives, and colorings added to their food.  Also, dogs and cats are true carnivores, and they do not have the digestive capability to handle the grains, or carbohydrates (corn, wheat, or soy) that most dog foods include.  So I threw out all of the dry food (even the organic stuff), and began making Dyppy homemade, all organic food made mostly from low fat white turkey meat.   After I lightly cook the meat in water, I add a blended mixture of spinach, apple, carrot, vitamins, baker's yeast, spirulina, and water.  I do not heat the veggie mixture, since heating destroys enzymes and nutrients.  Sometimes I add a little beef broth for flavor, or maybe a little chicken.  Passersby frequently comment on her green food when they see her eating it and wonder what in the world she is eating, but she seems to enjoy it.  She is a very picky eater, and I know she wouldn't eat it if she didn't like it.
     Over the past 3 years, I have used Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy, Hyperthermia Treatments, Protocel, Paw Paw, Colostrum, Chinese Herbs, vitamins, collodial silver and homeopathic remedies to treat Dyppy's tumors.  I have used the Temeril P at the average dose of 1/2 pill every other day (instead of 1 pill per day) to minimize the side effects.  At one point early in her treatment, I thought I had defeated her cancer.  The tumors went away for 8 weeks, and I was giving her no Temeril P.  I was overjoyed and ready to write a book about curing cancer, when sadly, they returned.  The vet explained that many cancer patients may appear cured, but about 2% of very resistant cancer cells may go dormant for a time when attacked, then they ferociously reappear and no amount of treatment can kill these very resistant cells.  That's why cancer is said to be in remission, since it is quite well known that these survivor cells can come back.  How rapidly they return is an indication of how strong they are.  (Dyppy's were very aggressive, and 2 more new tumors popped up to add insult to injury.)
     So I started over with different medicines to try to save her.  I have not been able to find a treatment that will actually kill her very resistant remaining tumors, but I feel fortunate that she was not immediately overcome by these very aggressive cells.  I have been able to keep her stable, and she has survived for 2 years and counting beyond the vet's best predictions.  Most observers can't tell she has cancer, since she acts like a puppy and seems to feel very good most days.  Occasionally, if I miss a dose of her medicines, her stomach may react with bloody diarrhea and she doesn't feel well.  These negative reactions convince me the treatments I give her greatly help her condition. Since she receives one treatment or another about every 4 hours, she goes with me almost everywhere I go.  I am more her guinea pig than she is mine.
     I am further convinced that cleaning up her diet aids her ability to fight off the tumors.   Every day is a new day with her, and I never know if her immune system is going to be overwhelmed by the cancer.  But for now, I am doing every thing I know to support her through this illness, and improve her quality of life with us.  None of my treatments have been painful or sickening like the effects of radiation or chemotherapy, and I have no doubt that both her quality of life, and length of life have been extended by her diet and alternative cancer treatments.  Long live Dyppy!
     If you or someone you know has cancer, please investigate the numerous alternative cancer protocols that may be used either alone, or in conjunction with mainstream treatments.  Also, feel free to contact me if you need help establishing a dietary plan to maximize your health anytime, but especially if you are battling cancer.


  1. Do you have specific quantities for the ingredients in your homemade dog food? It makes perfect sense that if I'm trying to eliminate those things from my diet, why wouldn't it work for my dog?

  2. I to feel that what we eat has a lot to do with out health. I quite eating most red meats now almost 24 years ago. Still eat chicken and fish, but wish I could even quit them....hard. I'm more of a reader than one who posts....enjoy this very much.