Conventional Cancer Research is in the Dark
Conventional research is often screwed up and here’s an example.
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medicine Association evaluated factors related the survival of dogs with bone cancer. The study very carefully analyzed how the combination of surgery, various chemotherapies and radiation therapy related to how long the dogs lived.
As with any study, the authors ended with a discussion of their results and an acknowledgement of the limitations (things that could affect the results that were not addressed) of the study. The problem is that not only did the researchers not address the use of alternative medicine; they failed to even acknowledge that they did not factor it in.
In one study, 76% of owners of pets with cancer seeking care at a veterinary teaching hospital confessed to their use of some form of complementary and alternative veterinary medicine (CAVM) therapy. This percentage most likely underestimates these treatments since the survey selected for pet owners who were seeking conventional cancer treatment (excluding the more committed CAVM-minded people who would never consider that option) and because some owners who use CAVM on their pets are reluctant to divulge this information to conventional veterinarians for fear of ridicule.
In the bone cancer study, the authors were surprised to find that “… 12 of the 90 (13%) dogs in this study did not receive chemotherapy and still would be considered to have prolonged survival time…” There is little doubt that most if not all of these animals were receiving herbs, supplements and/or other CAVM therapies. It is inconceivable that these owners would have done absolutely nothing to help their dogs fight this disease. CAVM therapies undoubtedly contributed to the unexpected, prolonged survival times of some of these dogs as well as other individuals in this study.
A medical literature search yields many high-quality studies demonstrating the effectiveness against cancer of such natural compounds as mushrooms, curcumin, melatonin, and many more. It is very likely that such therapies played a role in the positive treatment outcomes of many of the dogs in this study.
Unfortunately conventional veterinary oncologists are not up to date on CAVM therapies for cancer. The specialists I’ve talked to are not at all interested in it. This dismissive attitude will keep them in the dark about what is really happening to their patients and in their studies.
Including data about CAVM therapy use in future studies will make the information gathered more meaningful, will further the development of integrative oncology, and ultimately will improve the care of all cancer patients. (Good luck with that) Let’s face it, studies that look exclusively at conventional care will never result in a complete understanding of cancer treatment success and failure.
What is your experience using CAVM therapies on your pet?
I have a client who tried a few conventional cancer treatment methods with very limited positive results. During a visit with a quite progressive conventional vet, he suggested she look into cannabis oil, something he could not provide.
It seems to have had a pretty profound affect as the dog is doing quite well and has far surpassed the predicted survival rate. Because of her experience, I ran a poll on my blog on whether people would consider the use of cannabis on their animals if there were a chance of improvement or a even a slow-down of the progression of a disease. We received an overwhelmingly positive response.
I don’t think there is as much of an unwillingness of people to consider CAVM as there is a lack of availability. There are not enough CAVM trained vets available in comparison to the conventional vets practicing the same, pharmaceutically-focused and conventional methodologies.
I agree we need more CAVM vets. Those of us who are on board keep plugging away, giving lectures at vet conferences and writing articles trying to light the way for our conventionally-minded sisters and brothers.