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Should I put my cat through chemo?
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Should I put my cat through chemo?

My cat is 12 years old and has recently been diagnosed with a mammary adenocarcinoma. She had the tumor excised, then had radical surgery to remove mammary gland and tissue from her. The vet said that chemotherapy was the next step, but to first find out if if would increase estimated survival time, otherwise there would be no point in proceeding with the chemotherapy. She gave me some statistics from a study that put surgery + adjunctive doxorubicin treatment at 441 days mean survival time. This would indicate that there would be no gain from the chemotherapy, but does not specify if this is with just tumor excision or so called 'radical surgery'. I was wondering if anyone could offer any information on this - my cat is in good health otherwise, the tumor was less than 2cm in diameter (the vet reckoned i caught it early). I would go ahead if I thought there was benefit and extended life expectancy, but after two major operations I don't want to put my cat through any unnecessary suffering for little or no benefit.
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Avatar_f_tn
I realise I should have posted this in the expert forum but it has exceeded the limit for posts for the day.
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228686_tn?1211558307
The problem with chemo and pets is that they don't understand the concept of "being made ill to get better".

There's an aspect of cancer that involves "the will to survive". A good cancer doctor will tell a patient that a large part of the battle with cancer is the emotional part.

So it's always hard to go by just statistics when you're choosing to do chemotherapy.

I will ask how long it has been since the last surgery? The problem with the more radical surgeries is they tend to have a long term effect on both the immune system as well as the emotional well being of your cat.

So if you've had a decent length of time since that surgery in which kitty could recover... then it would be understandable if you chose to go with the chemo.

From a personal perspective...

I wouldn't do it. But that's me. I've got my own philosophy on animal medicine.

My personal choice in no way will change the outcome of what you choose to do and is only based on gut feeling mixed with a number of factors dealing with statistics and animal psychology.

If you do go ahead with chemo, I do hope it does work out.

Keep us posted.

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Avatar_n_tn
I work for a vet. My cat was diagnosed with a mast cell tumor in ear 2 weeks ago. It was removed. The question was put to me being in the business would I put my beloved 4 year old cat thru chemo.....NO!!!! Cats do not handle things the way dogs do. They are very sensitive.Would I torture my happy cat with poison in his body and make him sick to buy a couple months or a year. NO.... My cat will hopefully still remain as happy and loved and content to go out on my screened patio to sun himself for alot more time. Messing with cats is torture to them. Dogs any attention usually is good attention. But cats do not like to be poked and proded.I have seen alot of cats with breast cancer and unfortunately even with surgery this comes back once open body to air. Please just love and spoil your cat for whatever time it has left. Do not make its last days poked and proded for our benefit to buy a couple months or years. KEEP HER HAPPY AND STRESS FREE. ITS A BETTER WAY TO LIVE HER LIFE. ITS THE BEST MOST LOVING THING YOU CAN DO. WHEN YOU NOTICE SHES IN PAIN AND NO LONGER LOVES LIFE DO THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR HER AND SEND HER TO REST AT RAINBOW BRIDGE.
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228686_tn?1211558307
While I agree with the overall sentiment, there are cats who are more handleable then others

(I've met a few. They tend to form support groups that focus on ways to become more difficult and intractable when being handled by humans with medicines!!!)

So do take your cat's temperament into consideration when planning difficult or long term medical procedures.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Mimi,

Thanks for the advice, but I have made the decision to go ahead with the chemo. This is after much consultation with the specialist cancer vet. He assured me that the drug that he uses very rarely has an adverse effect on cats, the danger being possible kidney damage, but this is very rare. His utmost priority is the pets quality of life. The dose used is not proportianate to say, what a human would have. I am assured that there is very low risk of my cat getting sick or suffering side effects.  My cat responded really well to the surgery, if anything she is enjoying all the extra fuss and attention! If I thought she would really be in distress because of it, I would not go ahead. I'm not taking this decision lightly, and its costing me an absolute fortune, but if it can stave off any secondary tumors and give my cat the few extra years she deserves, I'm willing to give it a go.

Thanks for everyone's advice!
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587315_tn?1333556383
This is good news!  I was hoping that you'd write back with this news!!!!  I'm very glad that you decided to go ahead with the chemo.  You can always see how a few treatments go to see how well she tolerates it.  From what I've heard, animals have fewer side effects than we do.  

I hope that things work out well for your kitty!!  Please come back with some updates on how you and your kitty are doing, it might help someone else that comes on here with the same questions about putting their own cats on chemo.

Take care.........and best wishes to you!!
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Avatar_f_tn
My cat had her first dose of chemo yesterday. She was a bit drowsy at first as she needed to be sedated but she soon perked up and was even eating, the vet said she would probably be off her food for 24hours. She was twitching a little bit yesterday but she seemed back to her usual self this morning when she woke me up for breakfast!

So far so good, although I will need to keep an eye on her as her immune system will be slightly weakened. She will have blood tests at my usual vets in between treatments, and more tests at the cancer vet just before the next dose, in 3 weeks. They will look at kidney function and white blood count, and if this gets too low they will stop treatment. I am confident my cat is in the best possible hands and that I have now done everything possible to combat this horrible disease. Its a case of wait and see in terms of how effective it will be, but in terms of side effects, I haven't really witnessed any so far.
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228686_tn?1211558307
Thanks for posting her treatment; it will be helpful to others to read what you're experiencing with this!

Keep us posted, and I'm glad your kitty has gotten off to such a positive start!
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587315_tn?1333556383
That's great!!!  =D  It sounds like she's tolerating the chemo well!!  Great start!!

My heart goes out to you, dealing with very sick kitties is very rough.  I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've had to go through it, too.  What has helped me to get through it, was knowing in my heart that I was doing everything in my power to help my cats-treatment, testing, etc.  That sounds like what you're doing!!  Your cat is lucky to have you!!  

Best wishes, prayers, and hugs to you and kitty!!
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Avatar_f_tn
After numerous blood tests, my cat still has a low white blood count. So the vet has suggested acupuncture to try to get it back up to normal levels. She has had three blood tests so far since the first chemo session, and her results are still not back to normal. So i will probably have to go with the acupuncture and hope for the best. I don't want to stop the treatment now as she has come so far. The cancer vet has said he will reduce the dose next time and it is normal for cats to go through this but it still worries me. I will see what the vet has to say about the acupuncture, it is supposed to get the cats results back to normal. Not as smooth a ride as we'd hoped for, but we'll keep trying!
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587315_tn?1333556383
Thanks for the update!  Did you get a chance to post this on the expert forum?  Let me know, cuz I'm curious about what they have to say about it.  I once had a cat that had breast cancer, too-we didn't do chemo.  I want to hear how well the chemo works, so please keep posting updates.  Your updates could really help others that visit this forum w/ questions about chemo.

Ya know, they make a drug for people that boosts the white blood cell count and I'm wondering whether cats can be put on it!!!  Ask your vet about it.

Good luck!
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242912_tn?1374091204
Yes, yes, ZQ is right.  There is a drug to boost the white cell count in chemo patients.  

Will be thinking of you and hoping the acupuncture is successful if you decide to go that route.  

Very Best Wishes!
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Avatar_m_tn
I kind of wonder what ever happened here, since this was over two years ago now.

I ran across this because my cat is taking chemotherapy.  I was hesitant at first because I did not want my cat sick from the medicine, etc.  That would not be the quality of life that I would want for her -- but I thought I'd give it one chance.

My cat had a rectal tumor which made it impossible for her to deficate.  She would have died in days.  It was inoperable.  They gave her an enima and then, the next day we tried the chemotherapy under my reservations.

It could not have been a better decision.

She suffered none of the possible side effects -- and in fact, it made the tumor shrink within 48 hours -- I couldn't believe it!  Within just a few days she was eating and drinking and using the letter box.  More important, she was purring and jumping up on the couch and laying in the window and doing all of the things that she had done before the onset of her illness.

At least in her case, it was totally worth it -- for her, and for me.  

It has now been two and a half months that she has been healthy.  She continues to enjoy every day.  I don't know what will eventually happen (the vet says that the cancer will invariably eventually return), but the treatments were DEFINITELY worth it anyway.
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My cat Daffy was diagnosed with lymphoma about four months ago, very close to his pancreas so the vets were unable to remove all the cancerous cells by operating as too many main blood vessels are close by. It took nearly seven weeks to finally diagnose as apparently the stain tests were not as clear as they should be. Thankfully the prognosis was lymphoma, I say thankfully as the other option would not have responded very well to Chemotherapy so I believed this was the best possible outcome for my baby.
He was put on a course of Vincristine, cyclophospomine and dubiroxicobin (I think that's the correct spelling, apologies if not). To begin with all seemed to be going ok, although he did have a bad time after the first vincristine, however we are now four months in to what should have been a 26 week period, and only just half way through. This due to Daff's inability to tolerate the Chemo very well, don't get me wrong for the majority of the time he has had a good quality of life, it was just the odd couple of days, over the last few weeks after his 3rd Vincristine treatment I have watched him lose nearly 1kg in weight (luckily he was a big cat to begin with and now weighs in at a normal 5kg, (not normal for him though. I write this having not long had Daffy back from a couple of days stay at the vets on a drip......he became extremely dehydrated, I had him at the vets Friday were blood tests were taken and all normal, two days later I'm taking him back in panic thinking please don't let this be it......
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My cat Daffy was diagnosed with lymphoma about four months ago, very close to his pancreas so the vets were unable to remove all the cancerous cells by operating as too many main blood vessels are close by. It took nearly seven weeks to finally diagnose as apparently the stain tests were not as clear as they should be. Thankfully the prognosis was lymphoma, I say thankfully as the other option would not have responded very well to Chemotherapy so I believed this was the best possible outcome for my baby.
He was put on a course of Vincristine, cyclophospomine and dubiroxicobin (I think that's the correct spelling, apologies if not). To begin with all seemed to be going ok, although he did have a bad time after the first vincristine, however we are now four months in to what should have been a 26 week period, and only just half way through. This due to Daff's inability to tolerate the Chemo very well, don't get me wrong for the majority of the time he has had a good quality of life, it was just the odd couple of days, over the last few weeks after his 3rd Vincristine treatment I have watched him lose nearly 1kg in weight (luckily he was a big cat to begin with and now weighs in at a normal 5kg, (not normal for him though. I write this having not long had Daffy back from a couple of days stay at the vets on a drip......he became extremely dehydrated, I had him at the vets Friday were blood tests were taken and all normal, two days later I'm taking him back in panic thinking please don't let this be it......
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....to continue, luckily the drip worked and Daffy was well enough to come home. Obviously until his body has time to recover he will not be continuing with the Chemo, despite all his blood results being normal. 36 hours after he came home, I now find myself syringing water into his mouth as he has no real desire to eat, drink or interact. It has been an emotional roller coaster for me and for Daffy I'm sure, and even though the tumour appears to be shrinking, I'm not convinced continuing with the treatment is in Daffy's best interest. I'm struggling with this because he's my baby and any glimmer of hope I want to hang on to, but over the last four weeks he just doesn't seem happy or comfortable, I have paid just on £2000 now for treatment and tests so far, I've re-mortgaged and will continue with treatment IF it's what HE wants and IF it will give him a good quality of life, right now I just don't know.....my vet and the veterinary nurses have been fantastic. Any advice please?
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874521_tn?1375890587
hi and welcome. I am so sorry for the problems Daffy is having and what brought you to our site. its really a hard call to make, I know I was there once too....I guess all we can really do is monitor the progress and quality of life, if Daffy isn't able to tolerate the chemo than IMO its just not fair to keep up with the administration, even the chemo isn't a cure its only buying a little longer time...but that time has to be of good quality don't you agree?
I send you both my love and all the best wishes in the world to help you with this decision and I know its a heartbreaking one.
I encourage you to read thru our archives and what other cat people have decided along the way...there are some links right at the bottom of this page too.
I will also send you a link to our holistic Vet on Medhelp, would gave some advise for holistic options...♥

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Animal-Health---General/Should-I-put-my-cat-through-chemo/show/924231
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Avatar_f_tn
My sincerest thanks for such a swift response which is greatly appreciated, as is the sound advice. I'm currently syringing fluid into Daff to ensure he is as comfortable as possible. We have our follow up appointment with the vet on Sunday, I think at which point I will ask for another scan to see if and how much the Chemo has shrunk the tumour. My poor baby has survived a fibrosarcoma (successfully removed 5 1/2 years ago, he was shot by an idiot with a pellet gun (twice) and survived both times, had several stints with a feline behaviourist due to stress related problems, and to top that has stress related FLUTD, if the proverbial nine lives of a cat exist then I'm not sure how many he has left, one thing I do know, I'll carry on until he tells me he's had enough.....I think he deserves that much at least
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Avatar_m_tn
My cat Simba was diagnosed with Erythroleukemia and we were told she would need a blood transfusion and then start chemo treatment, but that the chance for survival (she's only 4 months old) would be two to three months with this type of Lukemia.  Has anyone out there have any experience with this and if the diagnosis was accurate, I understand that every cat's situation is different, she's a Siamese.

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Avatar_m_tn
Hi,

Our cat was just diagnosed with erythroleukemia as well.  We were wondering what you decided to do treatment-wise for your cat, and what the outcome was.   Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  

Thank you.  
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My 12 yrs old male cat was just diagnosed with Lymphoma today. I am devastated. The vet is going to call me tomorrow with all of my options. I desperately want to do Chemo but only if it will extend his life and it will be quality! Any advise is welcome!
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874521_tn?1375890587
I am so very sorry for the decision you find yourself facing, I can only imagine how hard a one it is to make...you want whats best for your kitty without putting him through unnecessary pain if it doesn't give the wanted results. I'm afraid I can't answer this for you, but I do recommend a site where there are others that have faced this same question and by reading I hope you will find the answer you are looking for. all the best of luck to you both♥

http://www.felinelymphomacaregivers.org/cases.html
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506791_tn?1350343103
We may be facing a similar decision with Miss Kessie, about whom I've written a bot the last month or so.

Hopefully, we won't, but it is better I think to live with making the Final Decision a little too early, than too late.

I wish for you and kitty the best possible outcome.
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Avatar_f_tn
My wife and i just lost our cat who had chemo about 6the yrs ago. If we did not give our cat chemo our 5 yr old daughter would not have any memories of the wonderful little guy.
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874521_tn?1375890587
thanks for sharing your story buster....so sorry for your loss, they are so very special to us and we need to treasure every moment with them....♥
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Avatar_f_tn
I just lost my baby today. He had surgery to remove an intestinal tumour in Feb 2012. It was lymphoma. I decided to proceed with chemo, but am now questioning my decision. The drugs were hard on his little body and i believe brought a complications. I do not know if he would have survived longer and painfree without chemo. I will never know. I am devastated at losing him. He went into shocked from the pain of deep vein thrombosis this morning and never recovered.
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874521_tn?1375890587
I am so very sorry for the loss of your dear sweet boy, this is so very hard on us when we loose these little tykes....
don't blame your decision, you tried your best to give him a bit more time it just wasn't to be. yes the chemo drugs are very harsh on their systems I'm afraid.
RIP little poopyboy, he will always live on in your heart and memories.♥
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Avatar_f_tn
Our 16 year old cat was diagnosed with multiple site lymphoma on 6-19 2008. We were told to put him on chemo and that he might live several good months. Instead, we put him on prednisone and were told he would live a few weeks to a couple of months. He lived until January 30, 2011 - more than 31/2 years! It took a bit of work to finally realize the topical prednisone was best for him, but after that things went quite well.  Right now today we had a five year old rescue operated on for what seems to be a large mammary cancerous tumor and are trying to decide what to do. But boy, in our Doozey boy, was prednisone ever the right decision!!!!! We're lucky a friend of ours who is a registered nurse and cat lover told us he was just too old to put through chemo.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am so so sorry about your little one. I HATE making these decisions - I think there are no good choices or easy answers. I am sure, tho, that he KNEW how much you loved him and that is what matters most. My deepest condolences.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you opus88, for your kind words. I have so many 'what-ifs' right now, it's killing me. I wish his final weeks had been easier.
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Avatar_f_tn
Momycat, I wish I had your foresight and wisdom at that point, to have made better decisions. I though my Poopy was strong enough for chemo. He was only 7.
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874521_tn?1375890587
thx for sharing that personal experience momycat. I'm glad you were able to keep your boy with you for some added quality time..
sorry to hear you are going thru it yet again with your new little one..

from what I've read Chemo is different for each cat, what is tolerable for some is miserable for another., we always have to be aware of how its affecting their quality of life and when its time to let go, at best its never a cure from this horrible disease only a measure to buy them a bit more time.

Whatever decision we as parents reach its done out of love and wanting to do whats best for our little ones..
our hearts and prayers go out to you, keep us updated okay♥

there is a group for lymphoma diagnosed cats..I know thats different circumstances than mammary cancer but.maybe they can give you more insight into the chemo treatments and outcomes/side effects etc.

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/feline_lymphoma/

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874521_tn?1375890587
have you read anything about IP6? it is showing encouraging results for mammary tumors in humans as well as animals for reducing growth and slowing spreading...I have the one recommended for cats but unfortunately cannot find info regarding dosages...still looking.

http://www.theholisticvet.com/ip6.html

http://www.iherb.com/Enzymatic-Therapy-Cell-Forte-IP-6-Inositol-240-Veggie-Caps/2233?at=0
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Avatar_f_tn
If Doozer had been Poopy's age I probably would have done the same as you did - even at 16 our regular vet seemed to think chemo was a good idea, so PLEASE do your best to try not to second guess yourself. It was my good friend the nurse and cat crazy who said, "Listen, at 16 He's just TOO OLD - if he were 10 it would be different!!!"
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So sorry to hear about your baby!
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Thank you!!!!!
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I have a feeling things didn't turn out well. But I have to ask. I have/had 2 female cats. In November of 2011, Ozzy's "little bump" under her arm exploded into a golf ball sized mammary tumor overnight. They did a radial removal but while she was recovering, another tumor came back in the same area as her incision. We discussed radiation but decided against it and to keep her comfortable. By mid January, we had to decide to let her go and held her as she passed away by euthenasia.
Ozzy's sister then became my main priority. I checked her and at the first sign of a suspicious area, i rushed her in and the vet recommended surgery. He fould two suspicious areas and removed those 2 mammary glands with wide margins. The pathology came back malignant but the margins showed no sign of cancerous cells. The surgery was about 3 weeks ago and he just called today to have me bring her in to talk about chemo. I'm devastated and have no idea what to do.
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874521_tn?1375890587
I am so sorry you are needing to deal with this twice, once would be quite enough. sorry for the loss of Ozzy, its so painful for us to watch them go through so much and than ultimately have to say goodbye.
this is an old thread you are writing on...but we do have a recent member who's girl Lucy also recently underwent removal of a tumor on her mammary gland,(june 4th) she also had good margins, she is doing very very well..they have since decided again chemo...but that is a very personal decision, have a good honest talk with your oncologist before deciding.
Lucy's owner was kind enough to journal all of Lucy's surgery and recovery thus far....I will give you a link, just click on the site below and it will take you there, you can also post him any messages/questions you may have. this link will start on day one of her surgery.Page #4..to view all the more recent posts just click on the #3, #2 and #1 page on the upper right hand corner...

http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/index/2193335?page=1&personal_page_id=2691122&sort_by=date

and this is Laurents page....just click on send a note or message if you'd like to ask him more questions, he'd be very happy to reply.

http://www.medhelp.org/personal_pages/show/2691122?personal_page_id=2691122

best of luck to you and your kitty...what her name? please keep us updated on how she is doing♥
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874521_tn?1375890587
sorry that should have read 'they have since decided against chemo'...

and by clicking on the journal above it automatically takes you to the newest posting so you'll be reading it all in reverse to start at day #1 the day of surgery you will need to go to page #4 click on upper right hand corner the page numbers are in squares...hope that makes sense...♥
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2193335_tn?1339370806
Sorry to hear about Ozzy.  My name is Laurent.  Opus introduced you to me earlier. Please feel free to read my journals and ask me any questions you may have.

Lucy went through the entire mamary glands remove on one side.  The first biopsy was pretty scary, but the biopsy of the removed glands was much better.  We are opting of not putting Lucy through the chemo as she is doing very well.  It is a very difficult decision, but you need to weight the pros and cons for your and your friend.

Lucy lost her brother from cancer.  He had no sign of anything until it was too late and couldn't breath easily.  We put him through a lot for an entire week, for what!

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions as I learned a lot about it with the help of this site, my vet and the oncologist.  
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Thank you so much Opus88, i will do that as soon as I get home, right now I'm just crying at my desk at work. I greatly appreciate such a fast response.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you so much for your post on Jun 1 about your 16 year old cat. My darling is 14 and was diagnosed with an inoperable tumour today. She has been prescribed prednisolone, and I hope and pray that it will be effective. From what I hear, chemo is expensive, distressing to the cat and probably would make little difference to her life expectancy.
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I just came across this forum and your posts while i was researching cat cancer related info for my 10 yr cat, so I'm hoping that you could share some experience with me. Thank you very much in advance!  

My cat had a mammary glad tumor ( 2cm x 2cm ) removal surgery 2 weeks ago. The cancer had spreaded to her lymph node, so she had the whole left mammary gland and the lympth node removed at the same time, the surgery actually went well and she's recovering very well. However, the biopsy report just came back and our vet told us he would strongy recommend us to put her through chemotherapy .... we are really reluctant about that, we don't want to put her through any unneccessary suffering if that would only extend her life briefly.....  But our vet said if we don't do that, it's almost certain that the tumor will come back and would eventually make her suffer and kill her....
We are devastated and really have no clue if we should proceed with that... any advice from your experience would be highly appreciated!

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874521_tn?1375890587
I'm happy to hear your kitty is recovering well from the surgery, good girl!!!
Are you able to speak with a Veterinary Oncologist for their opinion???? find out all you can abt how difficult the Chemo would be on her...you can also check on a site I have on lymphoma, a different type of cancer however perhaps others there can tell you abt their Chemo experiences..

http://www.felinelymphomacaregivers.org/cases.html

Laurent hasn't been on for awhile, I sent him a note abt you asking for information, I hope he will see it and give you a reply...
all the very best of luck to your dear kitty, please let us know what you decide and keep us updated....((>^.^<)) Opus
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Avatar_f_tn
Many thanks Opus88! Actually we live in HK and our Vet is not an Oncologist, although he does have extensive experience in dealing with feline cancer patients. We're bringing Chin Chin back to him today to remove the stitches and will then discuss in more details about next step...  I will come back and check the posts soon for other advices. And many thanks for your link.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I've came across another useful site about mammary tumor. Maybe you might find it useful too.  

http://www.maxshouse.com/feline_mammary_tumors.htm
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874521_tn?1375890587
thx for the site, i will bookmark it for future use if we get another poster looking for answers...just wish they'd date these stats!!

Welcome from HK!!!!

good luck to Chin-Chin today, update us later ok....♥
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2193335_tn?1339370806
Very sorry to hear about your cat.  I can relate on the dilemma you are facing.  The original biopsy (before the operation) showed that the cancer less than 3cm, but would spread.  That’s why we decided to do the operation to allow more time to Lucy to be with us.  The second biopsy of the removed mammary glands was very good.  It looked like all the cancer was removed.

To be sure that the cancer would not spread, the oncologist recommended to have Lucy going through chemo.  We spent a few weeks thinking about it.  The side effects are not very encouraging.  We read some articles that some cats do not experience them, but I did not find any real testimony.  After the chemo, Lucy might be nauseated and lost her appetite.  She will then need to have to take some stomach pain medication (like PepsidAC) and some appetite enhancer pills.  Would it be a life for her!  She is doing so well, that we did not have the heart to put her through more. We asked out vet to do an X-ray of her lungs to see if the cancer already spread or not.    

With or without chemo, the cancer might come back.  It might be slower with the chemo, but there is no certainty.  How much longer would we be talking about and with which quality of life (that was important for us)?.  The biopsies’ summary was 50/50 on the result for follow-up with chemo for Lucy.

The chemo will not make your cat suffer, the dosage is extremely low compare to humans and your cat will not loose her fur – maybe her wiskers. She might be uncomfortable/sick from the side effects. What was the result of the biopsy of the mammary glands? The result truly helped us.

The decision is really yours and what you believe is best for your cat AND you.  Whichever decision you make, you should not regret it. Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or would like to share comments.  You are your cat are in my thoughts    
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Thank you Laurent, I'm very grateful for your advice!

We've done some research these few weeks and basically the whole family have came to the same conclusion that we will not let Chin Chin go through the chemo....  

The biopsy result shows the tumor is around 2x2cm, it has spreaded to the lymth node but thankfully not to the lungs. The chance for the cancer to come back is 50% at this point, if we opt for chemo, the chance for it to come back would be 30%.....  only 20% improvement but need to put her through the uncertain side effects of chemo.... we really don't want to do that...  

Right now she's recovering well from the surgery, she is eating well and sleeping well.. we just want to love her and spoil her for the rest of her time with us, and hopefully that won't be too short and it will all be quality time filled with lots of love and food!  and definitely without needles and pills.....

Thank you again for you guys sincere support, i'm glad that i have came across this page,  getting this heart warming support is very important for all of us! By the way, my Chin Chin looks exactly like your Lucy! They are both beautiful girls!
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thx Laurent for weighing in and giving us all yours and Lucy experience....sharing this information is priceless to others going thru the same frightening decisions..♥

Jessica....we never know if we are making the right or wrong decision for our loved kitties...and I'm sure there'll be times you'll second guess yourself.
However, always know your decision was made in Chin Chin's best interests and wanting the best quality of life possible for her for as long as possible, you both are doing what your heart feels is right out of love and there cannot be any better reasoning than that!!!!
Feed high quality, good protein diet to keep her immune system healthy, but most important now is keep her eating and happy :-)

Yes both Lucy and Chin Chin are beautiful little girls,look alikes....sisters across the miles :-) I keep you both in my kitty prayers.
I'm so glad you found us too...keep us updated, sending you both love and purrs for that gift of extra time ♥
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I'm not sure if this conversation is still running as it's been a while a comment was posted

My cat is going through her first chemo while I type this. At first I was very excited on the chemo  because the blogs about it are encouraging. I've done my part of the research and been optimistic even since.

But for some reason looking at the amount of medicines she's taken so far in the session just made me want to cry.

I can't wait for this to be over and to see how she responds to it to either continue or not.

I have taken the advice of an oncologist who is very popular and well recommended here by all vets ( Dubai )

I'd like to tell some of the people over here that if there is a chance for me to win an extra day with my loving cat I will do whatever it takes.

Cats don't know what is best for them but I'm very certain if there was  chance for a cat to ever know  there was a chance to give hope for a longer life that was not seized because of a ( better life ) theory we think we're offering, the cat would be very disappointed because at the end I know that my precious cat loves me as much as I do and she'd do miracles to spend more time with me

Cats get sick sometimes, vomit etc..I don't think having to vomit for few days after each therapy is considered bad quality of life. At the end we need to try and balance vomit for few days and lose of appetite in sometimes or life with your owner for 1 year ( form a cats perspective ) definitely live with the owner for a longer period.

I believe in always thinking from the others point of view to establish a fair result

Good luck to my loving ( poosy)

Fingers crossed
Elias
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thx so much for posting and telling us abt your dear kitty Poosy. its a huge decision that each of us pet parents has to weigh carefully as you've done, so much of the decision depends on having a good oncologist that we feel comfortable with and trust.

There will always be some side effects associated with Chemo treatments however as you've stated some vomiting and lethargy for a day or two following a treatment aren't going to diminish her quality of life to drastically.
As long as Poosy continues to eat/drink/use her litter box and isn't in pain than I see no reason not to continue her treatments.
You know and love her better than the doctors, so its going to be up to you to judge when you feel her 'quality of life' is is to poor to justify continuing. As you've said and I agree this is a balancing act and lack of appetite for a few days and some vomiting is a small price to pay for the chance of gaining another year or more with your loving kitty.

I do wish you and Poosy all our best of wishes, we here all have our fingers crossed for her. I hope you will continue to update us on how things are going. bless you both♥
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Thanks a lot for your kind words. Poosy's first session went  great

She's only  quiet and this would remain for the next few days. No loss of appetite or vomiting nor diarrhea. The Dr/Oncologist has given her after the sessions some medicines to support the after chemo process.  

For the knowledge, Poosy is 14 years old and  had 2 cancer surgeries in a period of 2 months | September and then November 2012. It is a very aggressive cancer and it grows quickly. Her scans prior to the surgery and Chemo were excellent.
We've done a full body ultrasound and a 3 different x rays covering the full Chest area.
I have pasted below our Oncologist input on Chemo therapy with it's do's and dont's. Our Dr. is Spanish and is top certified Oncologist and was recommended to us by the British, Australian and German Vet Hospitals here in Dubai. She was/is brilliant and cute too ;) I believe this very detailed report will be very handy. Report mentions also what was recommended for Poosy which was performed successfully at first session, Second last paragraph

Chemotherapeutic agents, or cytotoxic drugs, are potentially toxic, teratogenic (cause birth defects), and carcinogenic (can cause cancer.) While the benefits of using these drugs to treat cancer usually outweigh the adverse effects, it is important for each pet owner to be well-informed about the potential risks. If your pet is being treated with chemotherapy, it is important that you follow the following safety precautions to minimize your exposure to cytotoxic drugs.
Women that are pregnant, or planning on becoming pregnant, should avoid contact with patients receiving chemotherapy treatment. This also includes nursing mothers.

Adverse effects attributed to chemotherapy agents are uncommon, but possible. For those patients who exhibit intolerance, dose and scheduling adjustments are made to increase the patient’s quality of life. After each chemotherapy treatment, your pet will be sent home with written discharge instructions outlining potential side effects of the drug administered. Most common side effects are self-limiting—that is, resolve without any medical treatment. Sometimes a pet will experience more severe side effects, for example, vomiting or diarrhea that lasts more than 24 hours. We recommend that you contact the Oncology Service if you believe your pet is experiencing severe side effects after a chemotherapy treatment. Severe side effects may require hospitalization and IV fluid/drug therapy.

Chemotherapy drugs can be present in small concentrations in the urine and/or the feces, depending on how the drugs are metabolized. In these cases, it is important to avoid direct contact with any fecal matter or urine until after this time has elapsed. In the case of an accidental spill, or cleaning litter boxes, we recommend that you wear thick rubber gloves (for example, yellow kitchen gloves) and use absorbent paper towels to pick up the waste matter. Use a Ziploc bag to contain the waste, and try to absorb most of the waste before applying a mild detergent to clean the area. Then wash your hands. If your pet eliminates in the backyard, for example, it is a good idea to isolate a lower-traffic part of the yard for his or her elimination following chemotherapy, where it is less likely to expose anyone to the waste. In the environment, these drugs will degrade over time.

The chemotherapy drug recommended for Poosy would include a treatment with Doxorubicin every 3 weeks ofr a total of 5-6 treatments.
Doxorubicin (Adriamycin): Administered intravenously over 20 minutes. Patients are premedicated with Benadryl prior to treatment to minimize risk of an allergic reaction. Occasional side effects associated with Doxorubicin treatment include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gastrointestinal upset. Doxorubicin can cause significant nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, sometimes within 12 hours of treatment, but typically seen 2-5 days after treatment. Patients may be sent home with antinausea or antidiarrhea medications to prevent these side effects. Please contact the Oncology Service if Poosy develops severe vomiting or diarrhea. Doxorubicin can decrease the number of circulating white blood cells 7-14 days after treatment, which may make your pet more susceptible to developing an
infection. A low white blood cell count is not clinically significant unless the patient is showing symptoms such as fever or an infection, or if it occurs in combination with severe vomiting or diarrhea. Doxorubicin is red in color, and some patients will pass urine which is red after treatment with Doxorubicin. This should resolve within a few days. Renal failure is a rare side effect associated with cumulative treatments with Doxorubicin This is more likely to occur with more than six treatments with Doxorubicin, but some cases have been reported after only a few treatments. To monitor for any early changes to Poosy a complete bloodwork, including a renal panel is performed prior to each treatment with Doxorubicin. A rare or uncommon side effect of Doxorubicin is perivascular damage; please contact the Oncology Service if Poosy has redness, irritation, swelling, or excessive licking near the injection site. Hair loss is an unusual side effect of Doxorubicin, although pets with continuously growing hair coats are more susceptible to hair loss. Doxorubicin is excreted in the urine and the feces for up to two days. Please consider any urine or feces hazardous until after this time has elapsed.

The goal of chemotherapy is to slow down the progression of the disease and to avoid the recurrence of the tumor. Chemotherapy works better with microscopic disease, once surgery has been performed in order to remove the primary tumo
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Try Artemisin....a holistic vet treats cancer with this and it works great for tumors. research it pls before chemo.
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Thanks for this. I have checked it and red some very good articles on it. But some say it is still understudy while some vets have used this drug and it was proven successful

I've just forwarded to the Doctor that treated our cat last and will await her feedback.



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Is it still recommended after 1 chemotherapy is performed?
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My integrative vet uses it and has great sucess. Of couse some will say it is still under study, anything that works will never be approved by our goverment. If you go to the yahoo groups and look up Artemisin Cats there are 2 forums which can direct you about it and there sucess storys. I had a girlfriends cat who her house vet wanted to try it on her cats mouth cancer but she thought it was to late. Anyway , anything is better than Chemo. I had a kitty who was on all sorts of herbs for her soposidly lymphoma....long story.
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BTW there is something even better called Blood Root that is used for tumors. It shrinks and removes tumors. The vets or people apply it to dogs, horse tumprs and they just fall of after a while. Maybe a week or so. Check that out....
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thankyou for filling us all in on Poosy's diagnosis and treatment, I am so happy to hear she is tolerating the first treatment well, it sounds like you have a very well respected oncologist and it means so much to have confidence in those we trust our loved little pets too.

I am assuming the tumors Poosy had removed were mammary tumors?

the bloodroot hannelore talks of is avail in the US as Neoplasene.(as far as I know)...and is used on existing tumors to shrink in place of doing invasive surgery. now that Poosy's tumors are removed I'm not so sure this method can now be used?
It would certainly be worth talking to your Oncologist abt Elias...and get her opinion.
Other great supplements to use from what I've read are tumeric and essiac tea. for humans as well as animals.

keep us posted....wishing Poosy a healthy year ahead!!

http://www.buckmountainbotanicals.net/downloads/2010%20cancer%20paper%20website.pdf
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Thanks for the report. It is great.

Yes it is unfortunately the mammary tumors

My unfortunate luck is I have just been introduced to the oncologist last month. It was hard to trust the other vets I've dealt with as they were very traditional with their treatments and never felt really they planned ahead or at least spoke of this all great options you guys have shared.

I just wonder why all the examples shown in the report were all external tumors?

I will discuss this as my third 12 year old cat  might start developing a tumor and I will surely have the blood root done for her.

The success stories of Neoplasene are extremely encouraging and the report is very detailed and credible which in a way upsets me why no vet has spoken to me about the blood root before the surgeries done for poosy and her kitten/daughter who died last month when Cancer spread to the lungs. Although it was a closed story I still shared her reports and 2 oncologists confirmed to me it wasn't suppose to spread there that soon



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And sadly you're right.
My oncologist answered saying it is still under study.

That's her official response.


Artemisinin is still under study for cancer treatment  in vitro an animal models studies. As far as I know, there is no published studies regarding cancer treatment in animals with artemisinin in the last 10 years of bibliography.

Artemisinin has not been reported for use of cancer in small animals. There is no information about type of treatment, side effects, doses, etc... I have never been in contact with this drug neither anybody that I know (not even my mentors in the University of Florida).

Unfortunately, there is not too much information about the efficacy of adjuvant (after surgery) chemotherapy treatment for feline or canine mammary tumors. Prospective, randomized trials will be necessary to determine the appropiate use of chemotherapy in cats with mammary tumors. Veterinary oncologist still recommend the use of chemotherapy, such as doxorubicin, as an adjuvant treatment for aggressive feline mammary tumors.

To be honest, as far as I know, my knowledge supports the use of doxorubicin in Poosy´s case.
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many Vets including oncologist and specialist of all sorts do not support the holistic treatment options unfortunately.....b/c IMO when you have a loved one ill with cancer or any other health problem, its good to know all the options out there.

as with anyting there are pros and cons...this site deals with neoplasene treatment with dogs. some have rave reviews while others are very discouraging...its so hard to know isn't it.

http://www.dogcancerblog.com/neoplasene-as-a-dog-cancer-treatment/#comments



interesting, I found this article on arteminsin..(wormwood) appears this site lumps cats in with the same dosage as a small dog(under 25lbs) also that herb contains phenolic acid and tannis that cats cannot tolerate. so I would be hesitant to use.

http://pathwithpaws.com/blog/2011/03/26/artemisinin-when-cancer-cells-kill-themselves/

a few suggestions from those that treat holistically include. Vit C injections...I can find more info on that if you like.

they also really advise acupunture treatments to all cancer patients pets too....to support healing.

there is also the herb IP6 used with alot of success.

I found this on doxorubicin but sounds like a repeat of what you already know...

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_doxorubicin.html

keep on searching and finding all you can as you have been doing, we need to be informed and use this to help our kitties in anyway we can. I wish you nothing but the best in days ahead♥
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Hello to Laurent & Everyone,

I'm sad to have to join this discussion. Our 11 year old tabby, Sugar, was diagnosed with feline mammary cancer about 2 weeks ago. She had the lumpectomy and unilateral mastectomy about 11 days ago. Her biopsy results were good. The tumor was malignant (OK that's not good but it was expected given the statistics), but her type of tumor is slow replicating, they got it all and did not see any evidence of it in the lymph nodes. She had the lung x-ray before the surgery and there was no sign of it there. Her tumor was 3 cm.

She has her stitches out yesterday and is doing very well. We go back to the onocologist on Friday and I'm anticipating that the topic of chemo will come up.

My gut reaction to chemo is not to do it for quality of life reasons. For those of you who have had to make this difficult decision, what were some of the things you considered when making your decision about chemo?

Thanks and many purrs to all of you who have traveled this sad road with your beloved kits.

Jeanette
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hi and I'm sorry you had to join this particular discussion also...I am so sorry for all that poor little Sugar has gone thru and many decision ahead for you as well.
Laurent and Lucy haven't posted an update since early Dec. you can go to his journal and read the update and great news that Lucy is doing very well, Laurent opted out of the chemo for Lucy and isn't regretting his decision. You may send him a private message thru the link on his page too, that way he gets an email notification and he is so good at replies..
read his journal of Lucy's journey starting at the bottom with the date May 2012.

http://www.medhelp.org/user_posts/list/2193335?personal_page_id=2691122

there have also been other posters who have gone the chemo route...but they haven't updated us on the progress so I'm sorry I can't pass on any info in that regard. it is my understanding that cats are given a very low dose and most can tolerate it very well with few side effects. Talk in depth with your oncologist and keep doing your research, its a huge decision to make.
Please keep us updated on little Sugar, we are all wishing her all the very best and a long as well as good quality life ahead with her mommy. I can give you a list of good cancer/tumor fighting supplements that are safe for use on kitties if you are interested please contact me♥
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Hi Lauren,
Not sure you are still online since it has been a few years. I am in your exact situation and I was curious as to your outcome with your cat. My cat just underwent surgery and they are now recommending Chemo. I am very hesitant to proceed. How did your cat respond to the Chemo and is she still alive? If not (and I am sorry for your loss), how much time did it give her? Being a few years down the road, would you make the same decision again today?
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Hello, it has been some time and I apologize for my absence. Here is an update on Sugar.

After her lumpectomy and unilateral mastectomy, her oncologist did not recommend chemo, but wanted to monitor her very closely. Her first re-check was in early March and she was doing well so he wanted to see her in 2 months. In early April her regular vet gave her her annual vet exam and shots.

Three weeks later I discovered a lump in the same place as the first one. I was so devastated. It was worst that finding the first one. Of course we saw her oncologist right away and we scheduled surgery to have it removed. It was a local recurrence and thankfully her lungs and lymph nodes were still clear. At that point her onco felt that chemo was warranted.

I had always said I would never put a pet through chemo, but when you're in the reality it's different. We have gone forward with the chemo is and she is tolerating it very well. No sickness or diarrhea and no change in her energy, appetite or temperment. She has had four and has one more to go on August 5.

We don't know that the chemo will help, but we don't know that it won't. We want to give our baby girl her best possible chance and we believe that this is it.

I have started an organization to spead awareness about mammary cancer in animals. Our website is http://sugarrub.org/. We also have a Facebook page: https://www.************/pages/Sugar-Rub/587437321283860?fref=ts

I am interested in the list of good cancer/tumor fighting supplements that are safe for use on kitties that you mentioned in your earlier post.

Please keep our sweet Sugar in your positive thoughts.

Love, Hugs, & Purrs to all who are fighting this hideous disease.

Jeanette


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hi Jeanette, I am so sorry Sugars tumor recurred so quickly, that is just heartbreaking to need to put her through another surgery so soon...yes devastating I can believe, and I agree what we say 'we'll never do' than 'what we do, do'  when we are faced with the decision are sometimes two different things...its so hard to give up unless we feel in our hearts we've done everything we could.
I'm just so glad she is tolerating the chemo so well....:)

for cancer its very important you feed her a NO grain, HIGH protien diet..no by-products..get a good source of high protien.

I will list a few supps that I read are recommended for cancer treatment, I urge you to always check with your oncologist as well for their thoughts..I also urge you if you are going to try some or all of these supps you always start slowly as to not cause a GI upset and please buy the recommended brands b/c others may have ingredients that aren't good for use in Cats...such as soy for example.

Iherb is a good company to order from....good products and great service.

http://www.iherb.com/product-reviews/Enzymatic-Therapy-Cell-Forte-Max3-120-Veggie-Caps/2108/?p=1

1/2 capsule in broth 2x per day

http://www.iherb.com/LivOn-Laboratories-Lypo-Spheric-Vitamin-C-30-Packets-0-2-fl-oz-5-7-ml-Each/25231

Lipo C from Liv on Labs...absorbed at a much higher rate than any other forms of C, liposmal means it is absorbed into the cells as opposed to passing mostly unabsorbed thru the GI tract or kidneys. its EQUAL to IV viamin C...and widely used for human cancers as well.
this form comes in packets mixed with alcohol, so for the safety of you kitty open the packet and let AIR for half and hour. use 1 packet per 24 hrs( KEEP REMAINDER IN THE FRIDGE AND dispose of after 24 hrs if any left unused)...space the full packet throughtout the day....giving small amounts mixed with broth by dropper or syringe(orally)

and lastly TURMERIC...an excellent immune booster and anti inflammatory. use up to 500 mg (1/2 capsule) mixed with food or give via dropper after a meal.

http://www.iherb.com/Doctor-s-Best-Best-Curcumin-C3-Complex-with-BioPerine-1000-mg-120-Tablets/12137

like I mentioned before, speak with your oncologist abt these supplements...I know they are safe but I'm just not sure if they should be used while Sugar is on Chemo or afterwards? these are mostly used by holistic people in lieu of Chemo....so can't find info if they can be used ALONG WITH Chemo or not...
When starting ANY medication or supplement always begin with one at at time...just INCASE there is any reaction such as tummy upset you will knw whats causing it and what to cut back on or d/c

my prayers, keep us posted♥




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we have just lost our most precious baby who was 14years old. she had been diagnosed with lymphoma the most aggressive strain. she had a mass removed and biopsy taken and found to have signs in her organs. Chemo was recommended and we went on that advise. We were WRONG to do so. She suffered badly and died within 48 hours of the treatment.
She didnt understand what was happening, lost control of her bladder and bowels and it was a totally undignified end for such a sweet spirit.
She smelt of chemicals and her fur turned bright green from the discharge.
if we had known that this could occur we would never had put her through it.
She died at home in our arms at 4.30 in the morning so at least she didnt die in a vet surgery.
Beware of the risk of killing your precious friend. If i had my time again i would have just made her as comfortable as possible and treasured the time i had left with her.

i post this on the hope that i can save someone else the pain we are now going through that we put her through that.
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I am so sorry.....this is heartbreaking, you tried to do your best for your precious baby and it didn't end up being the case, I too am so relieved to know she was at home with those that loved her at the end.
thank you so much for sharing this with everyone. RIP little one♥
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Hi,
My cat was diagnosed with Lymphoma in late March. He is 15 years old. The vet gave him a steroid shot and an x ray. She said probably best to have him put to sleep. Also that he may not be able to survive the treatments if I decided to have chemo done.
I took him home terribly upset and crying. Decided to let him live out his remaining days with me at home. Vet never called to follow up on him although she said she would.
Yesterday April 10,2014 he passed away at 8:05 AM.
He drank water and ate very little the last remaining days up to not eating or drinking at all. It was terribly horrible to see what this disease had turned him into.
After reading all the comments on here, I'm glad that I DID NOT put him thru Chemo or antibiotics and make him suffer more than the poor thing did.
I gave him the best care I possibly could.
I cried for him  more than when my father died.
Thank you and my best to all.
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I am very sorry for the loss of yr dear little kitty, it's so sad to read of all these losses. You did what you felt was in his best interests and that's all we pet parents can do, we love them wth all our hearts an it's so sad to watch them struggling. RIP dear boy
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After two vomiting spells and an some constipation My almost 15 beautiful boy had a complete blood panel and x rays and all looked great.  Then I had an ultrasound last week in my vet's office by a visiting radiologist I never met.  My vet met with me afterward and said Wookie had a thickening of the intestines but it was very small so no aspiration was done because she didn't think she could get near enuf to get a good sample.  Then I was basically given a choice of let it be or surgery to remove it and resection the intestine. If I chose let it be, she never even mentioned prednisone to ease the pain.   All the posts I've read seem to have had definite diagnosis of what they were dealing with before choosing what route to go.  Did I miss something here?  I feel like I don't have the whole story and should start over with a new vet but hate to put him thru the driving and tests again.  He tolerates it but is much happier at home.  
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