Cansema®: Minimizing
Pain, Discomfort and Itch

[Original text written: 2001; updated Nov., 2014]
New for 2014: ant tinctures
New for 2018: "Itch" revisited

ecently we received an email from one of the members of a feline cancer group that information on "pain management issues" were not clearly made available. This -- despite the fact that there are not less than four pain-related questions in the Cansema® FAQ section, and it is prominently mentioned in both "Range of Physiological Response" and Cansema's User Instructions. There is, however, another reason this area is having to be revisited. Originally, Cansema® Black Topical Salve was used to remove skin cancers. That was the extent of its use. Today it is used by both end users and practitioners alike for any cancers that are in close proximity to the skin - on both humans and animals.
The purpose of this page is to more conveniently place the most salient points about potential "pain management" issues on one page, linked from the main Cansema page, so that it is more likely to be read.

handling zinc chloride As stated elsewhere on this site, the range of potential pain response to the application of Cansema is vast -- most people who apply Cansema to a small area of healthy tissue will feel little more than mild irritation. To prove our point, we even reproduced a picture in our FAQ section (see right) showing one of our production workers handling pure, full strength zinc chloride, the most caustic compound in Cansema with his bare hand -- (don't try this at home).
At the other extreme are specific cancers to which Cansema can be applied where a pain response is produced such that we do NOT advise users to attempt it without competent medical supervision - (which, admittedly, cannot be found in this area for many, particularly in the U.S. or countries of the British Commonwealth, excluding the Bahamas). This would include most cases of breast cancers and larger growths in excess of two inches (five centimeters) in diameter.
We strongly advise users to read the User Instructions thoroughly before attempting the use of Cansema®. Below we provide various strategies for minimizing the pain response one can experience in conjunction with the use of Cansema®. Please note that in serious cases, you may elect to use one or more of these techniques concurrently.

  1. "Ant Tincture" -- We carry three different "ant tinctures," which when topically applied, greatly reduce any pain response. Izulant is the strongest of the three, but AO Ichichimi will numb the area entirely. You can apply with a cotton pad, or you can do what the indigenous of the deep Amazon do: put down anywhere from two to ten drops (depending on the size of the painful area) and rub it into the skin. Please read the product page before purchasing this item.

  2. "Removing Cancer in Stages" -- All else being equal, there is a direct correlation between the size of the cancerous area one is addressing and the level of pain response. The more Cansema® you apply, the more sensation you get. Knowing this simple fact allows one to spread out sensations over the timeline of treatment so that the user has greater control over any pain response.
    For this reason we advise customers in our Cansema User Instructions page that if the growth is larger than two millimeters in size, they may elect to apply small dabs -- the size of a waterdrop -- on the periphery.
    Once the intensity of the sensation has been gauged, the user may then proceed to apply additional "dabs" until the entire area is covered. What this essentially does is dilute the intensity of the response by "extending the timeline" in removing the cancer growth.

  3. "Cutting Cansema®" -- This technique is behind the creation of Cansema Salve with Aloe Vera, but you can essentially do the same thing at home.
    Typically, this involves taking a teaspoon (5 ml.) of Cansema® from the small (22g.) jar, or a Tablespoon (15 ml.) from the large (102g.) jar and "mixing" it thoroughly "50/50" with either aloe vera gel or virgin coconut oil. If a 50% dilution is not sufficient for a particularly sensitive area, one can dilute further. A mix of one part Cansema to two parts of the aforementioned excipients (66% dilution) is normally sufficient for even the most sensitive areas, topically.
    As in the case of the first technique above, what the user is doing is "extending the timeline," but this time this extension is created not by restricting the area of application, but by weakening the strength of the product so that more applications will be required to remove the entire growth being targeted.
    It is difficult to quantify these things because every case is different, but to understand the principle have in mind that you going to "take twice as long to complete the process, but experience half as much pain."
    . . . an oversimplification, perhaps, but you get the point.

  4. "Restricted Area / Cut Cansema® -- Simply put, this involves employing both the first and second technique above: restricting the area of application and using a cut version of Cansema®. Obviously, you would only need to do this with larger cancers in sensitive areas of the body: ears, breasts, external areas of the reproductive organs, etc.

  5. Ice Pack -- Sometimes the application of an ice pack to the affected area will do the job.

  6. Acetic acid solution -- Many alternative practitioners use 2% acetic acid solution on topical wounds to reduce pain. This is very easy to make and very inexpensive. You can do it yourself just by putting about 2 Tablespoons (about 30 ml., or one fluid ounce) of apple cider vinegar into one liter (one quart is close enough) of distilled water. Apply liberally to the site of pain sensation with a cotton pad or ball.

  7. OTC & Prescription Analgesics -- If the above techniques prove inadequate, users may consider OTC or prescription grade analgesics. Although our orientation as naturopaths leans strongly towards natural, plant-derived remedies, we realize that there is a place in the world for stronger medications. Some users find that temporary use of an OTC painkiller can help.
    You may, however, follow our instructions, encounter a larger growth than you anticipated, and discover that over-the-counter pain killers are just not doing the job. [These OTC products fall broadly into three categories: (1) salicylates (like aspirin), (2) nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID's, such as Motrin, Celebrex, Vioxx, etc.), and (3) acetaminophen (includes Datril, Tylenol, Panadol, and Tempra).]
    The next step up is what pharmacists call "narcotic agonist-antagonist" drugs, most of which require a prescription in most Western countries. The section in the Physicians' Desk Reference (PDR) devoted to such narcotic analgesics is extensive. Among the most commonly prescribed products in the categories are Darvocet, Demerol, Percocet, Roxanol, and OxyContin.
    Originally, the use of narcotic analgesics to deal with pain was never suggested. As stated earlier, Cansema's use was pretty limited to our original stated application: small skin cancers. As its applications have expanded (which was a natural development born of its effectiveness), the need to broaden the view of possible analgesic needs has grown as well.

How to view the process: To understand why there would even be a need for analgesia in conjunction with Cansema use to begin with, it helps to understand the nature of the escharization process. In a very real way, escharization involves a cooperative effort between the escharotic preparation - a mere initiating agent - and your body's own immune system. For all intents and purposes, Cansema sets into motion a series of physiological events that translate into the body conducting its own surgical operation against the cancer growth. Any surgical procedure, whether initiated by the body or performed by the skilled hand of a surgeon so trained and licensed, can involve discomfort - and if anything, Cansema normally provides a method of removal that involves far less invasiveness and pain than the same exercise employing metal surgical tools. This should not be interpreted to mean there are not situations where medical surgery is not the best modality for the removal of a growth - cancerous or benign. But an objective perusal of substantial growth removals, as reported on any one of our eight Cansema Testimonial pages, with little or no analgesia, will convince all who do not already have a preset disposition in the matter.

Anyone who has used escharotics extensively knows that occasionally, significant "itch" sensations can occur. If you use any of our escharotic salves, including Cansema or even our Bloodroot Paste, you may notice in the course of self-treatment that "itch" develops. The technique below tells you how to easily get rid of it.
Liberally apply pure copaiba oil to the site of the itch -- (available on our sales sites). Then apply heat from a hair dryer at high heat and medium fan speed over the site. The head of the hair dryer should be roughly two to three inches over the site. (You can get some of the benefits of this technique even without the copaiba, by the way, because the heat itself disrupts the process that initiates the itch sensation itself.)
The trick with this technique is to concentrate right on the itch. The itch will "light up" and be "burning" far more than any of the tissue around it. That's when you know you've "have the target." Some users prefer to use a low setting and focus on the "itch spot" while varying the distance from the skin to get just the right heat. High speed works, too, but it is too intense for some users. There is an intense reaction of both pleasure and pain when you focus on the right spot. Hit the area with the maximum amount of heat you can stand. When it gets too uncomfortable, pull the heat away and see how it feels. The itch may fade away with several passes or if you hit it hard enough, it has been known to disable the itch instantly. If the itch is still not gone, hit it again until it is. Many report a technique where they "hit it hard" and then pull away -- off and on about five times -- until "you've blasted it good." It does take some practice and adaptation to the "heating sensation," but it does get rid of the itch.
Remember this technique because it also works on itch sensations produced by other causes. One user reported that it worked on a burning rash he gets in the summer. "I blast it with high heat, and it hurts, but completely stops the rash infection, otherwise, I have to use an antibiotic ointment."

In closing, if for any reason, you are unsure about the use of Cansema for your particular application, or if you are a practitioner and have more in-depth questions - general or specific, please email us.

Back to Cansema Opening Page Home Page Order Form
Created : May 29, 2002; Last updated : December 16, 2018