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Cancer and Medical Marijuana Treatment

The litany of the types of cancer, which is an abnormal growth of cells, is so long, the American Cancer Society (ACS) lists categories from A-Z. No matter the letter it starts with, all types of cancer are expected to kill up to 606,520 Americans in 2020, according to this report, with the five deadliest including lung, colon, breast, pancreatic, and prostate. Childhood cancer is on the rise, reports the ACS, noting almost 11,050 adolescents in American 15 years old and younger will have it.

With dozens of treatments for almost a 100 cancer types, one of the most favorable has been the use of medical cannabis for the harsh side effects of chemotherapy, a cancer-reducing drug therapy, reports the ACS. The ACS says conclusively how medical cannabis lessens nausea and vomiting in cancer patients and neuropathic pain in others. 

Understanding the Symptoms of Cancer

The NIH reports while different types of cancer create separate signs and symptoms, some remain the most common. Neurological issues, including headaches and seizures, breast, bladder and bowel changes, weight gain or loss; swelling and lumps; skin changes; and coughing are some of the more common signs of cancer.

Though childhood cancer is on the rise, the survival rate of cancer for adults is much higher than it used to be, with a notable decline in cancer deaths, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The causes of cancer are many and include ethnicity, socioeconomics, and age. Demographically, cancer is more prevalent in some U.S. states than other reports SurvivorNet, citing a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report.

While Kentucky, Delaware, and Pennsylvania have the highest cancer rates, New Mexico, Arizona, and the District of Columbia have the lowest. SurvivorNet reports the three top reasons why some states are higher than others are screening, smoking, and resource factors.  

Relieving the Effects of Cancer with Cannabinoids 

Though the NCI does not deny that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved medical cannabis for cancer treatment, it reports over and again how patients who have cancer have found relief from it. The NCI details the many types of cannabis and cannabinoids that alleviate the harsh side effects of all types of cancer for stimulating appetite and pain management. 

“Two small clinical trials of oral delta-9-THC showed that it relieved cancer pain. In the first study, patients had good pain relief, less nausea and vomiting, and better appetite. A second study showed that delta-9-THC could relieve pain as well as codeine,” reports the NCI.

Confirming medical cannabis treats cancer successfully, Breastcancer.org reports that four out of 10 cancer patients confirm relief from using it for more than one symptom. The nationally recognized organization conducted the study with Healthline between December 2019 and January, surveying 612 breast cancer patients. Key findings include up to 42% of breast cancer patients of all ages confirm they used medical cannabis for relief during chemotherapy and targeted radiation. 

In comparison, 78% reported using it for pain, 70% taking it for insomnia, and 57% for anxiety. With time, more studies promise to show the positive results of medical cannabis treatment for cancer patients; till that day, thousands of cancer patients continue to say it works. 

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Content Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Michele Ross, PhD
Content Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Michele Ross, PhD

Written By: Angela Underwood
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