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Cancer prevention – watch those symptoms

Focus on life, not cancer

This post is a part of the ebook that accompanied a Cancer Series at our Holistic Actions! Academy. The ebook was written to help all pet parents, regardless of medical background, reduce the risk of cancer in pets. Basically – cancer prevention.

The approach to cancer in this ebook is different than the current conventional veterinary model. However, it teaches you how to fully utilize the valuable information gleaned from the semi-annual veterinary exam and diagnostic tests. It also does not discuss specific cancer diagnoses or the many holistic methods that most of you already know. If this is what you are expecting, you may prefer one of the many other reliable resources.

Instead, you will learn a different framework, based on current research, that can help guide you to make specific changes that may reduce your pets’ risks from cancer. These changes are based on your pets’ symptoms, individuality, and the healing power of breathing and cellular energy.

Many years of our faculty’s expertise combined with extensive research is summarized to help you make safe and mindful medical decisions that focus on the quality of life for your pets (and save you money and headache of research).

You’ll learn how to do this at home by using symptoms. Observation of external symptoms is an easy way to stimulate healing and to optimize your pets’ happiness and quality of life. Learning more about the true significance of symptoms can also help you scientifically integrate them into current modern medicine. And practice proactive prevention using gentle and effective ancient holistic healing methods. This form of mindful middle path medicine can also improve the outcomes of any treatment.

Questions that this ebook answers include:

  • How can I detect cancer early?
  • My pet has a tumor, what do I do now?
  • My pet is being treated and she seems sick, what can I do?

In addition to the answers, you will learn a protocol called Holistic Medical Decision Making (HMDM), that you can use to help you make safe and effective veterinary decisions for both holistic and conventional treatments.

Please be aware however that the Holistic Actions! we are covering here and the focus on your pets’ vitality and balance are very different than the current veterinary standard of care. 

The specific actions that will be discussed are all based on just three concepts:

  • Where there’s life there’s hope so don’t give up based primarily on a test result or diagnosis.
  • Cellular energy, such as ATP from mitochondria, is what keeps us alive and healthy​.
  • Clinical signs and symptoms are a reflection of this energy and physiologic function.

Cellular energy and symptoms

The relevance and usefulness of cellular energy and symptoms are seen in the case of a 12 year young, seemingly healthy kitty who passed away from “natural causes”. This just means that organs stop functioning from the lack of cellular energy from mitochondria needed for life. [1]

That kind of chronic energy depletion is quite common and one of the many consequences is cancer. Every life process requires energy and you can “see” this through your pets’ symptoms. Symptoms let you communicate directly with your pets’ bodies.

Doing so helps you focus on life and living instead of death and disease, which prevents cancer.

Focusing on life and living instead of death and disease prevents cancer.

Symptoms occur as a natural part of living happy lives, even in the face of cancer. This is immediately actionable by using symptoms to help reduce your pets’ risk of cancer and help manage it if it develops.

Debbie did this with her Bernese Mountain Dog Kedron’s malignant mast cell tumor, for almost a decade. Debbie learned to observe symptoms back when Kedron was an active pup who was having recurrent and life-limiting lameness. A few years later when Kedron was doing well, a routine veterinary check found a malignant mast cell tumor. Debbie was able to use the tools she had learned to also manage this cancer for many years during which Kedron had a wonderful and long life.

The tools and protocols you will learn are not found in veterinary school textbooks. Instead, they are based on clinical results from thousands of dogs and cats from over 30 years years of practice. They have been teachers of the novel approach to cancer and energy management that we will discuss. In addition, information from over 150 vitality, balance and cancer references in people and pets has been used in this ebook.

 Optimizing Quality And Length Of Life

Let’s start by taking the highest level view of cancer care. That is your pets’ quality of life followed by their length of life. The following information is about optimizing both of them. For example, the three general categories mentioned above (life, cellular energy, and symptoms) are further subdivided into six areas of intense cancer research. These are:

  • Genetics
  • Individuality
  • Energy
  • Immunity
  • Information flow
  • Environment

These six are broken down even further into these ten “Hallmarks of Cancer” [3]:

And the sub-division goes on and on until the whole pet has been reduced into tiny pieces. In “translational” veterinary medicine these parts are put back together. This is the essence of holistic medicine which is in contrast to this reductionist approach.

However, even holistic vet med only looks at some of these pieces.

Genetics, immunity and environment (and epigenetics [4]) are important parts of holistic veterinary cancer risk reduction. Many great articles, books and internet resources discuss them but unfortunately they do not give you all of the tools available to prevent cancer and practice proactive prevention of all disease.

Your pets’ symptoms help fill that gap by being excellent clues to their susceptibility and risk of cancer. Biochemically, this is determined by molecular mechanisms that are activated by exposure to toxins, oncogenes, individuality, cellular energy and information flow.

One important example from the six areas of intense research is the molecular understanding of your pets’ individuality which is called the “exposome” [5] (the measure of all the exposures of an individual in a lifetime and how those exposures relate to health.)

The 2019 definition of it includes mechanisms that increase susceptibility to cancer from environmental toxins and other triggers like oncogenes (genes which in certain circumstances can transform a cell into a tumor cell).

This 2018 figure from the National Institutes of Health summarizes the importance of individuality. Your pets’ susceptibility to cancer based on their individuality is key. We’ll take a deeper-dive into the molecular understanding of your pets’ individuality and exposome later.

Individuality helps determine quality of life and the happiness of every pet in addition to their susceptibility to cancer. For example, one individual pet’s life may be limited by a fear of people or hating to be handled or riding in cars. Whereas another runs to the door to happily greet visitors and loves going in the car to go to agility, take a walk, etc.

These two pets will also each respond differently to the same environmental stimuli – one may get sick from some stressor but the other one does not. This increased susceptibility is due to different physiologic responses based on exposome and individuality.

Toxins and cancer genes may cause a problem for one pet and not another. In the same way, two pets exposed to infectious agents like kennel cough or parvo will respond differently.

Your pets’ genes are the only part of this susceptibility that can’t be changed. However, you have control over the other five factors. The especially important one is the measurable cellular energy which keeps pets’ bodies functioning and cancer-free.

This energy is used to help maintain balance, also known as equilibrium and homeostasis, of our pets. Symptoms are a measure of this balance and tell you how well your pets’ cells are functioning to keep physiologic processes working together to maintain this “ease”. Cancer is a dis-ease of these cellular processes. There are specific Holistic Actions! that you can take which optimize the cellular energy, thus helping prevent serious illnesses like cancer.

These actions are easy and free, although they are not treatment recommendations. You can use them to focus on the balance which will help your pets live life happily, lower their risk of cancer and help with the management of every dis-ease. 



1. Duchen MR. Roles of mitochondria in health and disease. Diabetes 2004; 53: S96–S102

2. Kaeberlein M, Creevy KE, Promislow DEL. The dog aging project: translational geroscience in companion animals. Mamm Genome. 2016;27(7–8):279–288
Feinman J. Using the vitality and balance system in holistic veterinary practice. J Am Holist Vet Med Assoc. 2019;54:18–25

3. Fouad YA, Aanei C. Revisiting the hallmarks of cancer. Am J Cancer Res. 2017. 7: 1016-1036.
4. Flavahan WA, Gaskell E, Bernstein BE. Epigenetic plasticity and the hallmarks of cancer. Science. 2017;357(6348):eaal2380. doi:10.1126/science.aal2380
5. Caroline H. Johnson, Toby J. Athersuch, Gwen W. Collman, et al. Lifetime exposures and human health: the exposome; summary and future reflections. Human Genomics. 2017
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