a new researchconducted by researchers affiliated with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and published in the journal. Supportive care in cancersought the perspectives of 1,258 cancer patients to learn more about the relationship between cannabis and cancer symptoms.
“To characterize cannabis use in cancer patients, we aimed to 1) describe the patterns of cannabis use across multiple cancer sites; 2) the perceived goals, benefits, and harms of cannabis. and 3) communication about cannabis,” the authors write in the study abstract.
How do cancer patients use cannabis and is it effective?
The study looked at patients with nine different cancers treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center between March and August 2021. Respondents completed an online or telephone survey asking about cannabis use, cannabis attitudes, and communication.
The researchers used multivariable logistic regression to estimate the association between cancer type and cannabis use, adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics and previous cannabis use.
All respondents resided in states where the use of medical marijuana for cancer is legal, and 31% said they used cannabis products after diagnosis, ranging from 25% for lung cancer to 25% for testicular cancer. It was up to 59% of the total.
“Characteristics associated with cannabis use include younger age, lower education level, and type of cancer. Multivariate analysis showed that compared with lung cancer patients, gastrointestinal cancer patients were more likely to use cannabis. ,” the study said.
The researchers also said that cannabis use in the year before diagnosis was “strongly associated” with cannabis use after diagnosis. Most cannabis users reported using cannabis to help them sleep (48%). This was followed by use for stress, anxiety, and depression (46%). and pain (42%). Among those who used cannabis to improve their symptoms, 70-90% reported improvement, while less than 5% said their symptoms worsened.
matches Previous data While they were reluctant to disclose their cannabis use to a health care provider, only 25% said they had discussed their cannabis use with a health care provider.
Cancer patients can find relief through cannabis despite no oncologist involvement
In the study’s conclusions, the authors note that cannabis use among cancer patients is common across sociodemographic and clinical populations, and that cannabis is often obtained independent of oncologists. It is pointed out that research shows that The authors note that “oncologists and other members of the oncology team are in a unique position to provide education about the harms and benefits of cannabis use, especially to cancer patients,” and that this context is “Evidence is particularly important when it comes to issues that are often contradictory and contradictory.” “
“Interventions to improve cannabis education and communication do not need to be targeted at oncologists treating specific cancers, as cannabis use appears to be consistent across multiple patient characteristics.” the authors concluded. “…to improve decision-making regarding cannabis use during cancer treatment, research is needed to determine the benefits and harms of cannabis use.”
Continuing evidence regarding cannabis as a treatment for cancer symptoms
Although the use of cannabis by cancer patients to relieve symptoms is not new, research surrounding cannabis as an effective treatment for symptom relief continues to grow. That said, available research results show promising results in the treatment of cancer-related symptoms.
A May 2023 study found that medical cannabis, when combined with other drugs, is a safe and effective treatment for pain caused by cancer. The researchers concluded that medical cannabis “is a safe and complementary treatment option for cancer patients for whom traditional painkillers such as opioids do not provide sufficient pain relief.” This study found that medical cannabis specifically significantly reduced pain.
Another study published in 2022 similarly found that cancer patients who used medical cannabis had less pain and that cannabis reduced the need for strong opiate painkillers. The study also found that cannabis was well tolerated and reduced other cancer-related symptoms.