Does Dog Dewormer Kill Cancer? Separating Fact from Fiction

Does Dog Dewormer Kill Cancer? Separating Fact from Fiction

In recent years, a surprising claim has emerged online: that dog dewormers can kill cancer. This assertion has captured the attention of many pet owners and individuals seeking alternative cancer treatments. But does dog dewormer really kill cancer? This article aims to separate fact from fiction, exploring the origins of this claim, the scientific evidence, and the potential risks involved.

The Origin of the Dog Dewormer Cancer Claim

The idea that dog dewormers can cure cancer largely stems from anecdotal reports and a few small-scale studies. A notable example is Joe Tippens, who publicly shared his story of using fenbendazole, a common dog dewormer, as part of his cancer treatment regimen. Tippens claimed that his terminal cancer went into remission after he began taking fenbendazole, alongside conventional treatments.

What is Fenbendazole?

Fenbendazole is a broad-spectrum anthelmintic (anti-parasitic) drug commonly used in veterinary medicine to treat worms in animals, including dogs. It works by interfering with the energy production of parasitic worms, effectively killing them.

The Science Behind Fenbendazole and Cancer

While fenbendazole has shown some anti-cancer properties in laboratory settings, these findings are preliminary and far from conclusive. Here’s what current research says:

  1. In Vitro Studies: Some studies have demonstrated that fenbendazole can inhibit the growth of cancer cells in vitro (in a petri dish). However, many substances can kill cancer cells in vitro, but this does not necessarily translate to effectiveness in living organisms.

  2. Animal Studies: Limited animal studies have suggested that fenbendazole might have anti-cancer effects. However, these studies are not enough to establish it as a safe and effective cancer treatment for humans.

  3. Human Clinical Trials: As of now, there are no large-scale human clinical trials that have proven the efficacy and safety of fenbendazole as a cancer treatment. Without rigorous clinical trials, it's impossible to recommend fenbendazole for cancer treatment confidently.

Potential Risks of Using Dog Dewormer for Cancer

  1. Lack of Regulation: Fenbendazole is not approved by the FDA for cancer treatment. Using it outside of its intended purpose can pose significant health risks.

  2. Toxicity: The dosage and formulation of fenbendazole for animals differ from what might be safe or effective for humans. Improper dosing can lead to toxicity and severe side effects.

  3. Interference with Conventional Treatments: Self-medicating with fenbendazole might interfere with conventional cancer treatments, potentially reducing their effectiveness or causing harmful interactions.

  4. False Hope and Delayed Treatment: Relying on unproven treatments can lead to delayed access to scientifically validated cancer therapies, which are crucial for effective treatment and better outcomes.

What Should You Do If You Have Cancer?

  1. Consult Your Oncologist: Always discuss any alternative treatments with your oncologist. They can provide guidance on the safety and potential interactions with your current treatment plan.

  2. Seek Evidence-Based Treatments: Focus on treatments that have been proven effective through rigorous scientific research and clinical trials. These include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy.

  3. Stay Informed: Keep yourself informed about the latest cancer research and advancements. Trustworthy sources include reputable medical journals, cancer research organizations, and your healthcare providers.


The claim that dog dewormers can kill cancer is based on anecdotal evidence and preliminary research that has not been substantiated by large-scale clinical trials. While the idea is intriguing, it's essential to approach it with caution and rely on proven, evidence-based treatments for cancer. Always consult with medical professionals before considering any alternative treatment to ensure your safety and the effectiveness of your cancer care.

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