Integrative Cancer Therapies with Dr. Kendra Pope

integrative oncology with dr. kendra pope

Recently I did a podcast with Dr. Kendra Pope, an integrative veterinary oncologist, trained in holistic modalities such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, and intravenous nutrient therapies. She helps pet parents navigate through difficult diagnoses, symptoms, and side effects of treatment for their beloved pets. Dr. Pope also teaches an Integrative Oncology course at the Chi Institute, designed for veterinarians who want to learn about Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and other integrative medicine for their cancer patients. Her website,, is filled with incredible resources, from integrative services to preventative medicine, clinical studies and more!

Listen in to the whole episode:

What is Integrative Oncology?

Integrative Oncology, like any integrative veterinary medicine, is the use of complementary therapies alongside conventional medicine. 

Conventional cancer treatments recommended by your veterinarian may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or immunotherapy. Integrative veterinarians will integrate complementary and alternative therapies to support the patient beyond these conventional treatments. Complementary therapies can help with side effects from conventional cancer treatments, such as the pain, fatigue, and anxiety that come with chemotherapy and radiation. These complementary therapies may include acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, ozone therapy, herbal medicine, nutrient therapy, cannabis based therapies and more. 

Food Therapy

For Dr. Pope, Food Therapy is the very first step for any patient who comes to her practice. 

“70% of my patient population have cancer. And then I do get another percent of my population that are coming to me for chronic disease. So what I reach for first, is actually always food. Because there’s no amount of supplements or nutrients that you can give that can fix a patient if they’re on a bad diet.” – Dr. Kendra Pope

Dr. Pope shared with us that on average, about 25% of pet parents come to her practice already feeding their pets a non-processed diet. The other 75% are immediately advised to make the switch from a processed diet as their first step. 

We recommend a fresh, species-appropriate diet, supplemented with a natural source of probiotics to support gut health. You can start the switch by adding fresh foods to your pet’s current diet, as a way to begin the transition to a healthier diet. Your pets can even share some of the same ingredients or meals you prepare for yourself. A holistic or integrative veterinarian can help you choose what kind of protein, nutrients or supplements are best for your pet. 

After Food Therapy, Dr. Pope can then assess what additional therapies may be best for each patient, such as acupuncture, massage therapy, nutrient therapy, herbal medicine or other complementary therapies. 

Related: Truth About Pet Food with Susan Thixton

Pet Parents: Healing at Home

Pet parents often believe their veterinarians can just ‘fix’ whatever is wrong with their pet. But Dr. Pope reminds us that it’s really up to the pet parents to put in the work. Holistic and integrative veterinarians can provide you with the right tools and resources and advice, so that you have the best chances of helping your pet. However, at the end of the day, your pet is going home with you, and it’s up to you to stick to the protocols given to you by your holistic practitioner. 

“How much you put in, is how much you get out. And you know, with these natural therapies, it takes time, it takes money, it takes effort, it’s a lot of work. So you have to really be philosophically aligned with that, and really believe in that. And if you really believe it’s going to do something, that’s really going to make a difference.” – Dr. Kendra Pope

Finally, to learn more about integrative oncology, or complementary and alternative veterinary medicine, you can visit Dr. Kendra Pope’s website. There you can find many helpful resources, including videos, links to integrative services, clinical studies, and Dr. Pope’s Wellness Wednesday talks. 

Related: Healing Pets Holistically with Dr. Marlene Siegel


About Angela Ardolino:

Angela Ardolino and Odie the Schnauzer

Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years. She operates a rescue farm, Fire Flake Farm, in Florida. In addition, she owns Beautify the Beast,  a natural pet salon and shop. Moreover, Angela got her certificate in Medical Cannabis Biology and Therapeutic use from the University of Vermont School of Medicine. Next, she founded CBD Dog Health to provide high quality, all-natural medical cannabis products designed specifically for pets. 

Accordingly, she uses Full Spectrum Hemp Extract on all her pets at her rescue farm every day since 2016. Angela has five dogs. Odie a 12-year-old mini-schnauzer, Nina an 8-year-old Doberman. Jolene a 7-year-old mutt, Maza a 7-year-old mutt, and Rhemi an 8-year-old poodle. In addition, she has 4-10 more any time she is fostering or boarding. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians and the Veterinary Cannabis Association. In fact, Angela has educated hundreds of medical doctors and veterinarians on the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis on animals. 

About Dr. Kendra Pope:

Dr. Kendra Pope - Integrative oncology author photoDr. Kendra Pope is a board-certified veterinary oncologist that specializes in treating patients that have received serious diagnoses. Dr. Pope’s holistic training is an ongoing journey, with ongoing interests in herbal medicine, intravenous nutrient therapy, mistletoe therapy, as well as all innovative and novel integrative oncology approaches. Then, she successfully obtained board certification in her specialty of oncology and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2015. 

She has a strong interest in clinical research and making a difference in the field of veterinary integrative medicine and integrative oncology through publications, lecturing, and education. Additionally, Dr. Pope serves as president of the American Board of Veterinary Botanical Medicine as well as on the Board of Directors for the World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine.