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My Rat Has Cancer

My rat, Ratacus, who is about 2 years old has a mass growing in his right lung. I found this out when he was lifeless and weak this past Saturday. I immediately scheduled a vet appointment at a regular vet but due to my impatient nature, I ended up going to an emergency clinic that I had good experience with.

The vet x-rayed him and said there’s a tumor in his right lung that is either from another part of the body (aka the tumor is spreading) and/or it’s lung cancer. Either way, eventually his lung will fill up and/or an organ of his body will fail. We’ve established that without further treatment, it’s terminal.

With my rat being the age he is (not exactly young anymore), I decided not the go through with further treatment (chemo, surgery, etc). The vet agreed that it wouldn’t provide a better quality of life for him. Going through further treatment means that he’d spend the rest of his life trying to recover from treatments instead of being comfortable. All signs from the x-rays and symptoms points to cancer.

So he is now on prednisone twice daily for as long as he’s alive. I read a little bit about prednisone. It’s basically a steroid from what I understand. The doctor said he can live from anywhere from a few days to a week to a couple weeks. There’s no definite saying.

Ratacus has perked up a lot after coming home later Saturday night. They gave him a corticosteroid shot and offered me narcotic pain meds but I declined and said I’ll call them if he needs it later. He was running around yesterday and was up beat. He ate a bunch of Nutri-cal to re-gain the weight he lost. I don’t want to let on that I’m letting him be miserable. With medication and stuff, he’s actually eating and playing and running around. If he came to the point where he’s nothing but tired and weak, I would put him to sleep.

Categories Blog

Did Cancer Exist in Prehistoric Times?

Around 14,000 years ago, human survival strategies took a radical new direction, namely a shift from hunter-gatherer to agriculture. Life would never be the same.

The word “agriculture” does not make us wince, but it should because it came with a high price in terms of health, happiness, and well-being. On its heels came many new problems, stresses, and diseases that earlier people did not suffer.

New fossil evidence confirms that early farmers, unlike their hunter-gatherer ancestors, had reduced life span, higher infant mortality, a greater prevalence of degenerative disease, more bone and dental problems, reduced stature, and more nutritional deficiencies. As for cancer, it seems to have been largely non-existent prior to Neolithic times.

In his paper “Capitalism and Cancer,” Mikhail Sivashinskiy, the renowned Russian oncologist and cross-cultural epidemiologist, writes that “Modernity is cancer-prone,” but adds that the “toxins” of the modern age go far beyond physical ones. Just as important are the social, spiritual, and emotional aberrations that can erode the integrity of the immune system. Features of modernity that are especially corrosive in this regard are stress, frustration, repression of feelings, pretense, artificiality, inhibition of creativity, loss of control, decline of family and community support, and loss of existential grounding.

Diet is certainly another factor. It is estimated that our Paleolithic forerunners ate upwards of eighty different plants, herbs, and tubers in the course of their gathering, which was supplemented by small amounts of meat. Theirs was a largely vegetarian diet which means it is more accurate to refer to them as gatherer-hunters rather than hunter-gatherers. The switch from this diverse immune boosting diet to an agriculture-based one reduced drastically the richness and variety of our diet, and today’s woeful dietary habits continue to offer little cancer immunity.

Ultimately, the illusive cure for cancer may require us to gain a better understanding of the toxic indoctrinations that infect us in the modern age, along with the goals, aspirations, and lifestyles that they inspire.