Cancer in animals
15. January 2021
Petra Friedrich – Veterinary Practitioner
Often the disease is diagnosed quite late, and the pet owner is under pressure because the vet recommends quick action. Despite the horror of the diagnosis, there should be enough time to weigh up the risks and benefits of a recommended treatment.
Many questions should be considered: Is a biopsy really necessary? What is changed by the “certainty” of the diagnosis and does this outweigh the risk of metastasis? Can the animal really be expected to undergo chemotherapy with all its side effects and what are the chances of success of this form of treatment? For the animal, maintaining or restoring a good quality of life is the first priority.
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Development of cancer in animals
A cancer does not develop overnight, but possibly over years. In humans, it takes about six years from the degeneration of the first cell to the development of a microtumour. Every day, the animal body produces millions of new cells and every day some cells degenerate. Whether a cancer develops from these degenerated cells depends on countless different factors.
Chemical substances (tobacco smoke, feed additives, mould toxins), viruses, radiation exposure (UV rays, X-rays), inappropriate feeding and also antibiotics promote cancer. However, the animal body has several emergency systems to protect itself from cancer. Only when all these systems fail can a cancer develop from a damaged cell under unfavourable conditions.
A cancer cell grows uncontrollably and multiplies faster than normal cells. Tumour cells induce vascular cells to form new blood vessels in order to bring nutrients important for tumour growth to the tumour. They can penetrate blood or lymph channels and continue to multiply elsewhere, resulting in metastasis.
What promotes cancer growth in animals
Inflammation promotes cancer growth. Inflammatory reactions release many growth factors to accelerate necessary repair processes. These are used by the cancer cell to grow. For this reason, tumours preferentially occur in inflammatory tissue. The metabolic processes of the cancer cell differ significantly from those of a normal cell.
Cancer cells are dependent on glucose, they have a very high glucose requirement.
Deprivation of glucose makes cancer cells susceptible to therapies and can cause older cancer cells to die. In tumour patients, the surrounding tissue is over-acidified by levorotatory lactic acid. This necessitates a supply of dextrorotatory lactic acid to regulate the pH.
At the latest with the diagnosis of cancer, the animal’s diet should absolutely be strictly species-appropriate. For carnivores such as dogs and cats, this means a grain- and starch-free diet, without carbohydrates that can be used quickly. Sugar and carbohydrates feed the tumour.
Vital mushrooms for animals with cancer
An important fungus for cancers without conventional medical treatment is ABM. It suppresses the formation of blood vessels (angiogenesis) so that the tumour can no longer be supplied with sufficient nutrients. It initiates the voluntary suicide of the tumour cells (apoptosis). It also regulates the immune system so that degenerated cells can be better recognised and destroyed.
Maitake inhibits tumour growth and metastasis. Like ABM, it promotes the voluntary cell death of tumour cells and strengthens the cellular defence. Coriolus can be used preventively to prevent cancer. It reduces the formation of blood vessels, supports the voluntary suicide programme of the tumour cells, inhibits the spread of cancer cells and strengthens the cellular defence. Among other things, it is used for hormone-dependent tumours.
The additional administration of the antioxidant OPC is recommended during cancer therapy, as OPC has a strong anti-inflammatory effect and protects healthy cells from degenerating into cancer cells.
The treatment of cancerous diseases should be individual and according to the severity of the disease. It should be adapted to the condition of the individual animal and to any additional conventional medical treatment methods that may have been carried out.
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