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Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Sue Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

Why is Canine Cancer Still Winning? Part 1

Updated: May 3rd, 2019

Those who have experienced the frustration and sadness in caring for a dog with cancer may have wondered, “Why is cancer still winning after all this time?”

In the last forty years, successes in cancer treatment relative to effort have been pretty meager.  Even if one were to spend the average total price tag of $5000-8000 dollars for surgery, chemo and radiation as needed, things remain dreary.

I came across this recently in a Molecular Cancer Therapeutics article:



“Combination treatment involving surgical removal of the tumor and adjuvant chemotherapy is the most common treatment, but the prognosis for dogs having an invasive/metastatic tumor is poor, with median survival time ranging from weeks to months. Other treatments, such as radiation therapy and palliative treatment, have only limited success.”

And if you have a dog afflicted with this predator, you are experiencing the reality of how wimpy conventional care actually is improving lifespan and life quality for periods beyond 6-10 months, and unbearably, often much less.  Why is this the case?

There are two areas to look at.  Let’s examine one in this post

First, cancer starts when our dogs are youngsters.  Exposures to invisible carcinogens in the modern world starts early.  Aberrant cells caused by genes are created by genetic bloodlines.  Dietary mismatches between commercial food and optimal health start during puppy-hood.  Modern living suppresses immune responses.  And more.


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So by the time we actually can see the problem as a physical issue or something that turns up on testing, we are late in the game.
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This is why dogs 10 years or older have a 40- 50% chance of dying of cancer.

It is like having a car which, as we are driving along, suddenly the tire pops off, seemingly out of nowhere.  What in the world??  How did that happen?  Upon closer inspection, we see that actually, over the last years of life, the bolts have been slowly corroding due to salt, moisture,  poor metal quality, and so on.

Looking further, we realize that the bolts on all tires have been corroding for years!  This is the type of situation we are faced with in dog cancer.  The problem is starting much earlier than we think. It takes multiple hits to the DNA to create cancer cells, and this occurs over a long period of time.  The things that favor the growth of these cells, permitting their presence, also need time to be established.

We need to start earlier and raise awareness of cancer in the dog.  We need to provide appropriate levels of apoptogens (substances that turn on apoptosis)  to encourage replacement of deranged cells with healthy cells. We need to get our dogs on diets that mirror one eaten in the wild.  They need physical exertion and mental stimulation.

For more information, check out The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.

All of these can help.

Best to all,

Dr D


Discover the Full Spectrum Approach to Dog Cancer

Leave a Comment





  1. DemianDressler on September 5, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Dear Shannon,
    Yes, you are correct! For the very reasons indicated I used agents like these in the formula for my patients..Hope it helps!!!
    Dr D

  2. Shannon on September 1, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Isn’t curcumin an ingredient in Apocaps? And luteolin, as well? Just checking, because I’m thinking about using it for my dog Shelty.

  3. derek on December 11, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    I just want to show my support.My girlfrind and I have 5 dogs.I feed them organic dog food mixed with a little bit of commercial dog food.I have a hard time finding heath food for dogs that is affordable.Our five dogs did great for two years.Then my girlfriend decided that she wanted them on commercial.Technily she pays for them,And i only supplied the wet organic wet food.Though we dont see everything eye to eye,I dont have a choise.So they got a little sicker after that.Its been 3 months now.I dont know if sharing this info is worth sharing.All I have to say is for anyone who dose or dosent care,if what you try isnt working,time to try someyhing else.

  4. Sarma on September 18, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Hi,
    I have been reading all the comments in desperate need of help for my dog.
    I have a 4y. old chihuahua female that was diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma in the lower rear leg. Could anyone give me some help/info/experience about this type of cancer and possible treatment conventional or holistic?

  5. Kris on August 31, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Hi. I read about luteolin in your blog. Somewhere you posted that you will discuss dosages, etc., in your ebook. Is that the book that is advertised on this site? I juice celery, basil, and parsley everyday for my dog who has mast cell tumors (she’s had cancer & I believe those little tumors which have come back are cancerous). I want to know how much to give her…

    Thanks,
    Kris

  6. Dale on August 20, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Dr. D,

    Thanks for backup. I should have been more clear about my comment about cancer occurring – I don’t think, in most cases, that for any given individual (or animal) what caused the cancer to start is known.

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