Conventional veterinary medicine has a long history of borrowing from holistic medicine (ie. glucosamine, S-ame, milk thistle, colostrum etc.)and it now seems that many cancer patients will benefit from the interest Board Certified veterinary oncologists are paying to Chinese herbal medicine. Early clinical studies of formulas that have been long used by holistic practitioners as the basis of treating cancer patients are showing great promise in extending longevity and improving the quality of life in animals with cancer. This is not a surprise to those of us who have been using the formulas in our clinical practice AND the spread of these therapies into conventional practice will help “normalize” herbal medicine while helping many more patients.
One of the common cancers that afflict dogs is called hemangiosarcoma. This is and aggressive cancer of blood vessels and most commonly locates in the spleen. Metastasis to the liver, lungs, momentum ( thin tissue covering the intestines) is very common. Oncologists classify hemagiosarcomas as Stage 1, an enraptured mass on the spleen with no evidence of metastasis; Stage 2, a tumour on the spleen which has ruptured but no evidence of metastasis; and Stage 3 where metastasis is evident.
Treatment options for this cancer involve splenectomy (removing the spleen) with or without some form of chemotherapy. The average expected survival time with a splenectomy only is about 3 months. Adding chemotherapy extends the average survival to about 6 months. A newer approach to chemotherapy, called metronomic therapy where small doses are given to control tumour growth, without actually trying to eradicate the cancer also appear to give an average survival time of about 6 months.
Dr. Erin Bannick, DVm Diplomat ACVIM oncology, CVA is currently following hemangiosarcoma cases treated with a Chinese herbal formula called Chai Hu Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang augmented with Panax gnotoginseng ( San Qi) Angelica root, Schizandra and Salvia. Many of these patients are having concurrent chemotherapy as well. Dorothy Cimino Brown from the University of Pennsylvannia has been testing a specific American product called I’m-Yunity comprised of Coriolis mushroom polysaccharides. Both practitioners found significant improvements in hemangiosarcoma patient survival and are planning larger studies to confirm preliminary results.
So what do these improvements look like? Dr. Bannick had a patient with Stage 1 using chemo and herbals who lived 3 years. A Stage 2 dog treated with only herbal and a splenectomy, lived for more than 2 years. Findings like this reported inside the conventional veterinary research paradigm lend support to the observations that practices like Full Circle Veterinary Alternatives have been making for years about cancer patients treated with herbal medicine.
If you or any of your friends has a pet with a cancerous condition, please encourage them to seek out a holistic practitioner. Herbs are fantastic in improving cancer outcomes.
Your pet deserves the Full Circle of Veterinary Care!
Our dynamic, passionate and dedicated customer care team wants you to experience inspired, integrated veterinary health care. Our broadly educated veterinarians, technologists and support staff meld conventional veterinary medicine and surgery with diverse special interest fields including: nutrition (commercial and home prepared feeding plans), diagnostic ultrasound, acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, canine rehabilitation, feline focused medicine and more. Take the first step and join us.