why I write these articles, why I post on Instagram and Facebook, and why I create content to raise awareness about cancer and provide information. And I love what I do and I am here to serve you, so I took a deep breath, absorbed all the positive energy and decided I would come back. I feel very energetic and I just wanted to share a few things that I thought I should have told you maybe a while ago, whether your dog or cat has cancer, it’s just a few basics that I’ve been brainstorming about and so want to i just give you some advice. on a wide variety of things that I think you should know when dealing with cancer and your pet, so let’s break it down, let’s start with the first.
Tip number one is information changes. I know it is very clear, but it is very important. Information is constantly changing, I am learning new information about mast cell tumors and lymphoma and different therapies, and some of the therapies I am using will no longer be available, of course, the canine osteosarcoma vaccine that was not there in clinical trials. where available, there were some serious complications and side effects with Listeria, the immunotherapy-type vaccine. So it’s very important when you read old articles or get information is that you realize that the information is changing and things will be different from case to case so it’s very important that we stay informed and realize that every patient is an individual and the information will be different. change, and now this is a dynamic process.
That’s one of the reasons it’s so important that you talk to your vet so they can review your case, review your pet’s medical records, and hopefully see a cancer specialist. I’ll always leave links below on where to go to a cancer specialist, even if you know God forbid your dog, I had another dog that had lymphoma five years ago, seven years ago, doesn’t mean things are going to be the same information is constantly changing, we have to be open to new ideas and to show what is current, what is the current research, and be aware of it. That’s why I always do research, and that’s why I always learn more and follow further training, which is why I always teach.
Tip number two. What works for a pet may not work for your pet. There are so many different things, not all cancers are the same, not all lymphomas are the same from dog to the dog from cat to cat, which is way too often, even in the comments of my YouTube article and on Facebook, I see What therapy is your dog having got? I’m going to try that, or what supplement are you using? What food? And you just … We say it’s an N of a 1 that in a study, just like an individual case example, the stories are great,
we want to know what worked, we ask, what did you do?
But that’s not to say it works, I can treat two dogs with mast cell disease, at the same stage they all use the same traits but they may not respond the same way yet. So we have to be very, very careful when we ask a friend or someone we see on the Internet for advice and recommendations, such as what foods did you use? Which supplements? Which chemotherapy? Since that’s just one example, it’s only one person who doesn’t replace or negate the expertise of a specialist or what a study has shown. I’ve been treating this cancer for 20 years, and then they come and I want to do this because my neighbor’s dog was treated this way, but that’s not the standard of care, just we have to be careful without focus.
Well, I’ve said this before and I’m going to say it again. Please do not ask me for advice for your pet that you have not seen, it is not the right way, it is not the best way to assess what is going on with your dog or cat, in an email and comment below in a direct message, you know, stuff like that. And then please don’t be mad at me if I don’t respond, so at this point, people are going to get really mad at me, and then that’s really painful, and then they throw those negative comments that I don’t care. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s just not an inappropriate way to evaluate a patient’s cancer, and if you feel like you want to give me some negative comments, read Article 123 first and see how hurtful it is. It’s not just for me, but other vets too. So there is only a one-time limit in a day, we all have a lot to do, be nice and read article number 123.
Another question I keep getting is about the new therapy?
Are there any clinical studies? Big question. But I think we have to be careful with that because for all of the great new therapies we want to lead the way, but we also need to realize that the new therapy is a little less tested and true, we may not have all the data available, especially for treatments that are in clinical trials. A good example is the canine osteosarcoma vaccine that was done in the initial studies at Penn, so this is for dogs with osteosarcoma, they had an amputation, then four doses of carboplatin chemotherapy, and then three doses of the immunotherapy vaccine for canine osteosarcoma. administered every three weeks for three doses. The first studies coming out of Penn University, the first clinical trial, the median survival time, so with surgery and chemotherapy alone is about a year and it was over 900 days with the addition of the immunotherapy vaccine, so it was super exciting, everyone was really excited about studies like you wanted to give your dog that if you could just take a break. And then it was in clinical trials and it expanded, and it was in studies in more than 22 states in the US. I worked in a hospital and we did it, it was super exciting.
There were some side effects, but it was manageable and it was really exciting that we might be getting this therapy, that extended survival dogs tolerated the therapy well, and finally, we had these breakthroughs. Then, in January 2020 of this year, we found out that the vaccine would no longer be produced, it was recalled by Lanka, there were safety concerns, but we were waiting for more information. Just two weeks ago, at my cancer conference, we found that in some of the dogs in the trial, there were about 8% positive cultures and infections for listeria,
so there are concerns about the safety and zoonotic potential of listeria, these were new side effects. , new side effects they saw in the dogs in this larger clinical trial that they didn’t see in the first study, so they’re not looking for the vaccine. And that’s a good example where in the first study we see the benefit of the treatment without the side effects, the side effects, and in larger clinical trials we start to see these side effects appear, and then the treatment is already unavailable. So sometimes when you do new therapies we don’t know what the benefit will be, we don’t know what all the side effects are going to be, and all too often I see people saying, well, not me. even if I want to do the standard care,
I’m going to do a clinical trial. One of the great things about clinical trials is that they are often funded so that you can get some money for your pet’s treatment and cancer treatment can be very expensive. But before you embark on a clinical trial, realize that we may not even have an example of what your survival might be, you will often get some standard concern that there is an ethic in the panels analyzing them, but you know what? these are safety concerns, and we are not always aware of all of the issues associated with these clinical trials. Therefore, I am not against clinical trials, but I believe that before you dismiss the standard of care, you should know that there are pros and cons to all clinical trials, and there may be a risk of side effects. There are pros and cons and many times you have to go there and travel 800 miles and sometimes you have to stay there while you are filming. Just things to really think about,
why aren’t we talking about clinical trials?
Therefore, we need to discuss the potential benefits as well as the potential risk, and we may not know all of that yet. So there are only things to think about, discuss this with your cancer specialist. Thank you. Something else I want to mention and this really goes back to some of the issues that happened with the problem. Article 123 is when you google the internet looking for information about cancer and its therapy, where is it? Does your information come from? And I know it can be very difficult sometimes on the internet, and I have checked my references in point 23. I am a certified cancer specialist, but I am not a certified nutritionist and if I do other topics I talk to other Specialists, I interview them, I do webinars, I said if I talked about COVID, I’m sure to learn from the infection specialist. So too often I think we hear someone talk about food or what they are doing or we go to the pet store and that sounds good, so we do, but I really think we should investigate,
where do your data come from?
What is that person’s experience? And don’t take it all at first glance, who is your expert? Why are they, experts? Just because they have a large following on Facebook, they aren’t necessarily experts. So I think in the cancer world we just have to be really careful about where our information comes from? How much experience do they have in the clinic and what do they do? Yes, I was once a neuro-oncologist who just graduated and that’s still fine. You’re pretty smart when you first pass the tables because you just pass the tables and it takes a lot of work to pass the tables, but there’s also a balance between being in the clinics and experience and things like that. So think about who your expert is. I often consult with internists, neurologists, surgeons, and things like that, which is great because it takes a city, it takes a team.
So ask those tough questions, who is the expert?
but be careful with the information on the internet. And in another article, I talk about scouring information on the Internet, but I think we need to be careful, especially when it comes to diet and nutrition and what we feed our pets. Again, there is often no one correct answer, perhaps only one best answer, and you will make the most informed decision. But let’s make sure it’s an informed decision and think about where our information is coming from. My last tip is probably a bit more of an application and it goes back to some of the things I talked about in article 123, and the vet profession is … you may or may not know, but we are one of the most important. professions prone to suicide Very complicated topics, very difficult topics to dive into different factors, but that includes technicians and veterinarians.
I know many veterinarians and technicians who have ended their lives. So as a reminder to say, thanks to your vet team, we are hard at work and before I post a negative comment on anyone’s page or on their Facebook page or on social media, I think it’s really easy to be cruel and judicious. on social media. Just realize we’re all doing this together, we’re fighting for your pet, we’re on the same team and if you don’t have anything good to say, that’s constructive. If you have constructive feedback I’m here, it’s okay to have an open discussion, but if you didn’t like it, I laughed in my articles, sorry. So let’s leave it at that, thank you for being here, thank you for being part of the discussion, thank you for the support, the love, and the positivity, because we could all use a little more of it. So I will continue to do that. I have decided that I am not sure about my schedule, I will try to keep doing it regularly, but thank you. Thanks for rating me and see you in the next article,