One of our dogs, Surfer, has cancer. We heard yesterday, then today we found out how bad it is.
It's bad. Mast cell cancer, Stage 3. Eighty percent of dogs with this diagnosis die within 8 months.
(Just one thing after another around here, it seems.)
Anyway, I'm posting to ask for whatever knowledge or experience anyone has in this realm. Apparently there is a brand-new chemo drug that targets a receptor on the surface of the mast cell, so Surfer will begin taking that shortly. The vet said they started another dog on the drug 4 weeks ago, and when they saw the dog again the bloody tumor on his face was gone and he looked "5 years younger."
(I'll take it!)
I'm also going to figure out whatever anti-cancer diet exists for dogs. I know quite a bit about anti-cancer diets for people because I went on a health-book reading binge when my mother fell ill. (Best books I read: Anti-Cancer by Daniel Servan-Schreiber and The China Study by T. Colin Campbell.)
However, reading anti-cancer books for people doesn't instantly tell me what an anti-cancer diet for a dog might be, since dogs are carnivores. (People are omnivores, right?)
I'm a believer in diet as a treatment for cancer because of my father's experience. He was diagnosed with three different kinds of cancer in the last 20 or 25 years of his life (squamous cell, bladder, and prostate) and he didn't die from cancer, or even come close. He tracked down all the information he could on cancer and diet, and followed the dietary recommendations to the letter. All three cancers eventually disappeared.
Of course, I think my father had interesting genetics ... which I suspect may have made him more able to deter cancerous cells. On the other hand, he did have cancer - 3 kinds of cancer, no less - so he obviously wasn't cancer-proof, interesting genetics or no.
My dad used all available conventional treatments as well, so it's impossible to say what role diet played in his survival, if anything. However, no doctor expected to see his bladder cancer, which recurred for several years, disappear in the way that it did.
Conventional treatment was not supposed to make it go away altogether, and yet that is what happened.
I remember my mom's report from what I think must have been my dad's last trek to Mayo Clinic for follow-up. The doctor said: "You have cancer, and you're going to continue to have cancer, but you're not going to die of cancer."
And that is what happened.