Cannabis and Cancer
Cannabis or marijuana has been around a long time in Cancer World. Decades ago, some patients were smoking it or baking it in brownies to try to manage nausea from chemotherapy. When it became available in pill form, it was more common and sometimes helpful. As other good anti-nausea drugs have been developed, it has become one choice in a larger list. Like everything else, everyone is different, and different strategies work better for some people than for others.
Now that medical marijuana is legal in Massachusetts and some other states, and recreational marijuana is legal in a few states, the conversation has shifted. This is an interesting article from Current Oncology about its value in cancer care. Please note that, if you want to read the whole thing, you will need to scroll down the linked page to "download PDF". It is then straight forward and free.
Cannabis and cancer: toward a new understanding
The treatment of cancer, including the disease itself and
the symptoms associated with cancer and its therapy, is one
of the most important emerging frontiers in cannabinoid
therapeutics. With new regulatory environments opening
up in Canada and around the world, access to a variety of
quality-controlled cannabis-based products and administration
techniques is becoming a reality for patients and
their families desperate for new approaches to the devastating
effects of cancer. The same is true for scientists and
clinical researchers, who are starting to realize that, after
years of deep freeze on cannabis-related research, funding,
and materials, a thaw is starting. The promise, and even
the hype, can reach hysterical proportions, with claims of
cannabis cancer cures circulating in cyberspace at a furious
pace. The challenge in the coming months and years
will be to channel this interest into a productive clinical
research program that informs and enlightens all those
affected by cancer and its ravages.
This Current Oncology supplement brings together
the work of some of the leading minds around the world
who have dedicated themselves and their laboratories to
understanding the role of cannabis and cannabinoids in
the pathophysiology and management of cancer. This
collection of papers takes us on a journey from bedside to
bench and back, and provides a series of important signposts
that will help to chart a path to better cancer care.
Read more: http://www.current-oncology.com/index.php/oncology/article/view/3185
And here is another perspective:
Why I chose to use cannabis
I just learned that my ovarian cancer is back and that I need
to start chemotherapy. At 5 feet, 7 inches, I weigh only 95
pounds, having lost 30 pounds since the surgery. I don’t
want to lose any more weight. And so I research options to
help with appetite. All recommended products have side
effects I don’t like. The one exception is cannabis. I decide
to ask my oncologist for a prescription.
My oncologist is surprised and a little “tickled” at this
request. Although I am the first patient ever to ask her for
cannabis, she is keen to figure out how to make this work.
She telephones the oncology pharmacy, and they don’t
know what to do. I am only the second patient to ask for
cannabis at this large tertiary-care hospital. Wow!!
(Again,you need to scroll down the linked page to download the article)