Medical marijuana and the treatment of Prostate Cancer
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There have been major developments in the last few years on medical cannabis and its role in treating cancer. Recently, there have been studies on how it can benefit prostate cancer patients. And this is good news, as prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of death among men in the United States and is also considered to be a global public health problem.
According to statistics, around 12% of American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, and as of 2017 alone, more than 26,000 deaths have already been recorded.
Unlike other ailments of its nature, prostate cancer is one of the most difficult forms of cancer to treat, especially the metastatic type that quickly spreads all over the other vital organs of the body.
But as modern medicine has taught us humans for a while now, cannabis has been a wonder drug that has been used to treat cancer. The plant’s main components THC and CBD have been proven to help managing the growth of cancer cells, and are also used to alleviate the pain and discomfort brought on by chemotherapy cycles among patients.
UNDERSTANDING PROSTATE CANCER
Like all cancers, prostate cancer begins when cells begin to grow uncontrollably. In this particular case, the man’s prostate gland starts to grow way bigger than the average walnut-size.
In the United States, prostate cancer hits African-American men aged 50 years old and above the most. The most probable reason for this is either genetics or unhealthy eating habits, such as a diet composed mainly of fatty food.
TYPES OF PROSTATE CANCER
Prostate cancer can manifest in different parts of the gland. As stated in several research findings that have been conducted, 25% of the cases are metastatic during the time of diagnosis.
Commonly, the disease begins with symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), or simply an enlarged prostate gland in layman’s terms. BPH is common among men in their 50’s, but only 10% need medical or surgical intervention.
But once it worsens and becomes malignant and cancerous, and these types of cancer are:
- Prostatic adenocarcinoma
- Small cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Prostatic sarcomas
MEDICAL CANNABIS AND PROSTATE CANCER
Several laboratory and animal research findings have rendered positive results for cannabis use as the mode of treatment for patients suffering from prostate cancer.
A 2012 study concluded that particularly for men with bone metastatic prostate cancer, cannabis could be greatly beneficial, mainly for its analgesic effects for bone pain. This ultimately improved their quality of life and helped prevented opioid dependence and overconsumption of other narcotics.
Other studies also concluded that cannabis may have anti-androgenic effects. This is great news for prostate cancer patients, since the androgens that cause prostate cells to grow are being suppressed, which ultimately keeps the disease at bay.
Several tests that were done with CBD have shown that it can help with the apoptosis process, which essentially is the self-destruction of cancer cells.
CANNABIS AND CANCER IN TODAY’S SOCIETY
Despite the findings and first-hand testimonials from patients themselves, the majority of the medical field still refuses to recognize cannabis as one of the major forms of treatment for cancer. The use of herb still remains illegal on a federal level in the United States, despite the number of major states legalizing it for both medical and recreational use.
As there have been promising developments in terms of cannabis as a treatment for cancer, we can only hope that with a few more years of research we could be looking at a major medical advancement for us human beings to benefit from.
Cancer is a qualifying condition for a variety of medicinal cannabis programs in the US, including those in Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Washington D.C., Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and a few more.
Medical marijuana is also legal in Chile, Argentina, Australia, and many other countries in the world. To find out whether cancer qualifies for treatment with medical marijuana in your area, consult your local health authority.
Note: We have taken the utmost care and precaution whilst writing this article. That being said, please take note of the fact that we are not medical professionals of any kind. Cannabis.info is strictly a news and information website. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.