Many of us have a deep love and respect for our pets, so when we hear rumors that something that might be a dewormer for dogs could also cure cancer in humans, it piques our interest. But the reality is that a dog dewormer, fenbendazole, hasn’t been shown to cure human cancer—and in some cases, it can be harmful.
The fenbendazole craze began in early September when a South Korean YouTube channel published an article about Joe Tippens, an Oklahoma man who claimed that he was cured of his late-stage lung cancer by taking the dog dewormer fenbendazole. The fenbendazole is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to rid animals of parasites. According to the YouTube video, Tippens started taking fenbendazole along with vitamin E and CBD oil after doctors told him to call hospice and say goodbye. He claims that within three months, his cancer was gone, and he credits the dewormer for saving him and his family.
In a Facebook post and TikTok videos that have since received millions of views, Tippens says that he was diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer in 2016 and given only three months to live. He said he was determined to live long enough to meet his first grandchild, so he started scouring the internet for natural treatments that might extend his life. He tried the spice curcumin, CBD oil, mega doses of vitamin E and, ultimately, fenbendazole.
After a few weeks of taking the medicine, Tippens says his PET scan came back clean. He credits the dewormer for his healing, as well as his adherence to an anti-inflammatory diet and exercise routine. He has since made a number of public appearances to share his story, and his Facebook page has been inundated with messages of support from cancer survivors.
Researchers are continuing to look into new cancer treatments, including those that are more targeted to kill only cancer cells without harming healthy ones. They’re doing so in part by identifying proteins or other substances that are unique to cancer cells and finding ways to target them.
While it’s hard to know what types of cancer a dog may be diagnosed with, Troutman recommends owners pay attention to changes in their pets’ eating, drinking, peeing and pooping habits, as well as any unusual bleeding. She also advises owners to keep in touch with their veterinarian and report any signs of cancer.
Hemangiosarcoma: A rare tumor of the blood vessels, this cancer most often occurs in middle-aged or older dogs and certain breeds, such as Golden Retrievers. It’s usually not diagnosed until it has progressed to an advanced stage and can cause internal bleeding, which is often fatal. Treatment options include heparin injections, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. dog dewormer cancer