Finding out your cat has a compromised immune system is a scary and often devastating diagnosis, especially if the cause is cat cancer. Thankfully, there are holistic treatments available that will help minimize the side effects of chemotherapy and toxic medications. Combining holistic choices for a cat’s compromised immune system with conventional cancer therapies should be part of any treatment.
What Is Cat Cancer?
Cancer in cats is due to a failure of the immune system to regulate cell growth. It can occur in any organ (liver, spleen, lungs, etc.), any area of the body (bones or mouth, for instance), or even in a part of the body in general (such as the chest cavity).
Under normal circumstances, healthy cells grow and divide. At the same time, the immune system routinely eradicates damaged or irregular cells (cancer cells). However, if a cat’s immune system becomes weak or stops functioning properly, the body fails to detect damaged cells. As a result, these cell grow and replicate. Eventually, the cat develops tumors — the result of the growth of damaged cells. The most common types of cat cancer are feline lymphoma, feline leukemia virus, feline mammary cancer, and feline skin cancer.
An Aggressive and Rapidly-Developing Disease
Cancer in cats can often go undetected for weeks or even months. As cancer is aggressive and develops rapidly, the time between the appearance of the first cancer cells and the diagnosis of the disease is often directly linked to survival rate.
Once Cancer Has Been Diagnosed
Close consultation with your holistic veterinarian can help you to select the right cancer treatment and cancer therapies for your cat and his situation. Depending on the type of cancer, the age and condition of your cat, and other important factors, treatments for cat cancers can range from surgically removing tumors or abnormal cell growth, chemotherapy and radiation therapy to isolate and destroy cancer cells, and medications to help slow tumor development, treat inflammation, and control pain.
Mainstream Western-Medicine Therapies for Cat Cancer
Although many mainstream western-medicine therapies can be successful in removing or shrinking tumors (at least temporarily), none of these feline cancer treatments address the underlying cause of cancer: a faulty or weakened immune system. In fact, some treatments (such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy) can cause significant damage to, or even destroy, an already fragile immune system.
Rebuilding a Cat’s Compromised Immune System
Since cancer results from the inability of the cat’s immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells, it makes sense that helping to rebuild and support a cat’s compromised immune system at the same time as providing conventional therapies is the key to successful cancer treatment.
Rebuilding the immune system of a sick cat requires a multi-faceted approach. You need to reduce the everyday toxins in your cat’s environment, such as contact with pesticides, cleaning products, and highly-processed cat foods.
Most commercial cat foods are highly processed, meaning that during production much of the nutritional value of the ingredients is lost. All cats — but especially those with cancer — can benefit by changing to naturally-prepared, organic cat food that is rich in nutrients and free from chemical preservatives. As cats with cancer often have a poor appetite, it is essential to continually offer your cat a variety of healthy foods to encourage him to eat.
Another thing to do is stop vaccinating while your cat is fighting cancer. Vaccines can be disruptive to the immune system.
If you don’t have one already, seek out a holistic veterinarian to receive a more holistic approach to cancer treatment. The vet will discuss diet and other alternative solutions with you.
We Can Help
In addition to providing essential nutrients through diet, supplements containing essential vitamins and minerals along with time-tested herbs can help to ensure that your cat has the strongest immune system possible to help fight his way back to health.