What We Know About The Effects of Cannabis on Cervical Cancer : It’s not new that cannabis has substances which antiemetic and analgesic benefits, anti-carcinogenic characteristics and others. For decades researches have testified the effects of cannabis as a powerful symptom-relief and also in treating severe types of cancer such as glioma and breast cancer.
Several findings concluded that marijuana can stop certain cancerous cells as in the case of gliomas, slowing the progression of cancer growth. Additionally, cannabis is very helpful as a symptom-management of chemotherapy side effects, and other cancer treatments as well.
Cannabis specifically used in the treatment of cervical cancer can help the patient in various ways. However, before we talk about the treatment, let’s explain what cervical cancer is.
The uterine cervix is the narrow part of a woman’s lower uterus, connecting it with the vagina. Cervical cancer occurs when the cells of your cervix grow abnormally, invading other tissues and organs of the body. This cancer is invasive, and it may affect deeper tissues of a woman’s cervix, spreading to other parts of the body (metastasis), generally the lungs, bladder, vagina, liver, and rectum.
Usually, women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the mid-50s, despite most precancerous changes occurs between the ages of 20 and 30. This cancer develops slowly, so precancerous changes provide women opportunities for prevention, early detection, and treatment.
The majority of cervical cancer cases are caused by HPV (human papillomavirus). You can get HPV through sexual relations with a person who contains the virus. There are different forms of HPV and not all of them cause cervical cancer. Some causes of genital warts and others have no symptoms at all.
Most adults at some point in their lives will contract HPV. While some people may have no symptoms and get better from the infection on its own, the majority of the cases cause genital warts or cancer. To prevent HPV women are supposed to have regular PAP tests every year to detect any cervical cell changes before it turns into cancer. Another way to prevent HPV is to vaccinate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the vaccine of HPV for every preteen.
The treatment of cervical cancer varies and depends on a lot of factors such as other health issues you may have, your preferences and the stage of your cancer. Some of the common treatments are radiation, chemotherapy, surgery or combining any of these treatments, and of course, now we have medical marijuana.
How does medical marijuana help with cervical cancer?
First off, as already mentioned before, marijuana can help as a symptom-manager for the side effects of cervical cancer and the treatment side effects. Doctor Donald Abrams who is a professor of clinical medicine at the the San Francisco’s University of California and San Francisco General Hospital’s chief of hematology and oncology said to Newsweek that there wasn’t a day he didn’t see patients with cancer suffering from nausea, pain, insomnia, depression, and loss of appetite. According to Dr. Abrams, the only antiemetic medication that increases the patient’s appetite is nausea.
Published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, another study has shown that cannabidiol (CBD), a substance found in marijuana has antiemetic properties. Another study published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that oral tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a chemical in marijuana reduced vomiting caused by chemotherapy working significantly better than a placebo.
A final study conducted by the South African North West University lab-made experiments using cannabis Sativa extracts on a cancer model. The results? Cannabis not only stopped cancer cell growth, but it also killed cancer cells. The active compound on the extracts used in the research was Cannabidiol CBD. Researchers concluded that the CBD compound’s action activates a Bcl-2 degradation pathway. Bcl-2 keeps the cells alive, so when degraded, the cells kill themselves
Of course, these are all preliminary findings with the current federal scheduling of cannabis. However, since it has shown positive results, researchers may be keen to conduct more studies about the subject. Even the DEA has announced that they will be elevating cannabis research.
All in all, marijuana was found to be a preventive agent and reduces inflammation, according to a group of researchers concluding that cannabis may be helpful in reducing the chances of cancer.
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