The Cancer Epidemic
Cancer, a diagnosis that creates fear, a disease state that crosses all boundaries, an epidemic that has touched all of us at some time. Cells uncontrollably dividing resulting in tumors that ultimately end in death. My beloved Penny was diagnosed with a tumor on her spleen that had silently spread to her liver and lungs. Within a week of this diagnosis she was gone, free of a body that no longer allowed her to run and joyfully explore the world. I was one of the lucky few to actually get a diagnosis and honor Penny that last week of her life. Often the first sign of these stealthy tumors is when they suddenly explode quickly ending life, leaving guilt and grief in their wake.
Lectures and articles abound on the treatment and prevention of cancer. I recently watched “The Dog Cancer Series, Rethinking the Canine Epidemic”. Experts from all over the world were interviewed by Rodney Haybib and Dr. Karen Becker, talking about the most current research regarding the causes of cancer, prevention and possible treatment. While there is no magic pill I found this series invaluable in my understanding of this thing we call cancer. Processed, carbohydrate laden food, toxins in the environment, stress, and bad luck all play their part.
I found research on the link between mitochondria, rather than the nucleus of the cell, and cancer to be interesting. Mitochondria, the batteries of our cells, are in charge of hormone and enzyme production, and cell division. When the mitochondria become damaged uncontrolled cell division and proliferation of cancer cells ensues. Supporting healthy mitochondria through diet and limiting exposure to toxins is one of our first line defenses for cancer.
In addition to cancer, type II diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, all prevalent in people and animals, are related to our carbohydrate laden diets and sedentary life style. It may come as a surprise that carbohydrates are not a nutritional food source we should be consuming or feeding to our animals. Carbohydrates are metabolized in the body to sugars. Prior to ingesting a sugar laden diet our bodies burned ketones for fuel. The link between sugar and cancer has created new interest and research into the ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet restricts carbohydrate intake, promoting a diet of healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and protein. While cancer cells feed off of sugar they are unable to utilize ketones. The founders of KetoPet Sanctuary, now 5 years old in Georgetown, Texas, are interviewed on “The Dog Cancer Series”. The cancer remission rates they are reporting as a result of diet change and a regular exercise program are encouraging.
Consuming a fresh food diet is critical if we are to support healthy cells in their continual battle with cancer. It is time we develop relationships with the farmers and ranchers that grow our food and cut out the grocery store chains and the big corporations that are more interested in turning a profit than the health and wellbeing of their clients. I did my best for Penny. She enjoyed a fresh food diet and had a wonderful life running and swimming in the mountains and lakes of the Sierras. After Penny’s diagnosis and death I am more aware of the places toxins may be hiding such as manicured lawns free of weeds or asphalt covered with petrochemicals and avoid these areas.
I highly recommend purchasing and watching the “The Dog Cancer Series, Rethinking the Canine Epidemic”. This is a series for anyone with a beloved dog not just for those facing a cancer diagnosis. The information presented in these videos will empower each of us to make better decisions for both ourselves and the animals we love.