Dog Food May Relieve Cancer Pain

My breast cancer surgeon had to quit because of it.  Others say the pain is worse than labor.  "It" is neuropathy, where painful nerve damage from chemo makes hands and feet become almost unusable (certainly for surgeons!), and it's what some cancer patients get after  chemotherapy.

But an amazing ingredient has been found to take the pain away.  An additive in dog food.

A study done at Johns Hopkins has found that "a chemical commonly used as a dog food preservative may prevent the kind of painful nerve damage found in the hands and feet of four out of five cancer patients taking the chemotherapy drug Taxol," according to

An antioxidant called ethoxyquin was shown in experiments to bind to certain cell proteins in a way that limits their exposure to the damaging effects of Taxol, the researchers say.

"The hope, they say, is to build on the protective effect of ethoxyquin’s chemistry and develop a drug that could be given to cancer patients before taking Taxol, in much the same way that anti-nausea medication is given to stave off the nausea that commonly accompanies chemotherapy," reports. While half of Taxol users recover from the pain damage, known as peripheral neuropathy, the other half continue to have often debilitating pain, numbness and tingling for the rest of their lives.

“Millions of people with breast cancer, ovarian cancer and other solid tumors get Taxol to treat their cancer and 80 percent of them will get peripheral neuropathy as a result,” quotes Ahmet Höke, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of neurology and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Neuromuscular Division. “They’re living longer thanks to the chemotherapy, but they are often miserable. Our goal is to prevent them from getting neuropathy in the first place.”

I was fortunate; my cancer treatment did not include chemo.  But many of my friends experienced this pain and it hardly seemed fair, when they'd gone through surgery and radiation and chemo now this. Now at least this part of the experience may become just a memory.  We hope.


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