can cannabis oil replace chemotherapy for lung cancer

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by tablariddim, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. tablariddim forexU2 Valued Senior Member

    I had lobectomy for a large squamous lung tumour 18 months ago. There was no metastasis. It was followed up by 4 cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy, which fortunately I coped with rather well. A CT scan from June 2016 showed a small mass in my remaining lobe but the oncologist declared that I was 'clear', because the radiologist could not be sure of what it was. Anyway, after another CT scan and a PET scan a month ago it is confirmed that the cancer has indeed reccurred. I am 66 and otherwise quite fit.

    I will again undergo surgery to remove the mass and also possibly the remaining lobe. Assuming that I survive the operation I now come to my main question. As it is obvious that adjuvant chemo did nothing for me I am loathe to go through that process again and I am seriously considering a treatment with cannabis oil. Does anyone have first hand experience of the efficacy of this type of therapy?
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  3. Bells Staff Member

    I am really sorry to hear about your lung cancer, tablariddim.

    My father is currently battling the disease, after nearly 2 years of battling bowel cancer, a new cancer was found in his lung, a small nodule, and that was removed, along with a section of his lung, and now they suspect his bowel cancer is back again. Due to the damage the extensive chemo he had before, had done to his body, they are now trying to see what other treatment he can have, as it completely nuked his circulation when he had it for bowel cancer.

    If the nodule is small, they may do a resection of that part of the lung, removing the cancerous tissue and leaving clear parameters around it.

    Having suffered the disease myself, chemo is, well, not pleasant. It is an awful treatment. But it does work in the majority of cancers, but that is also dependent on the patient as well. Some tolerate it better than others. For my father, it nuked his circulation and he gets pins and needles constantly in his extremities, which makes future treatments, even precautionary treatments, tricky. For me, I lost just over 1/3 of my body weight, became a hobbling skeleton and so weak and malnourished due to not being able to keep anything down at all, despite being pumped full of anti-nausea medications, from drips, injections and tablets (which could not even keep down), that my doctor suggested I start smoking joints, just to be able to keep small amounts of food and water down. It worked okay for me, and it stemmed the weightloss enough for them to continue the treatments. Cannabis did not work for my father as well as it did for me.

    I used cannabis during my chemo, but it was not to treat the cancer. It was to reduce nausea and pain. Mostly the nausea, as I was unable to keep anything down during the rounds. Not even water. I know it is used to help treat the side effects of the cancer and its treatments. Quite effectively for many.

    I have heard vague rumours about it curing cancer. Look, I would be wary about such claims. Is it helpful in treating cancer patients? Yes, for many, it actually treated the nausea and skin issues quite well, allowing us to keep food and water down long enough and helped with pain as well. But that is only something a cancer patient should endeavour to try, with their doctor's recommendations and advice.

    It has not been tested to the point where it can be classified as a cure. You should not take such treatments without speaking to your doctor, oncologists and treating specialists first. Hell, you should not even take it for nausea, without speaking to your doctors first. Because it works for some but not others. Even vitamins, with things like anti-oxidants can affect cancer treatments in some patients.

    So please, do not partake in such treatments without speaking to your doctors first. And follow their recommendations. If you aren't sure, seek a second opinion. But just be careful about buying into cures like that. There's a lot of misinformation about cannabis oil and cancer. It has shown some promise in some tests in labs. Aside from that mere promise, it is not classified as a cure for cancer. Not even close to it.
    DrKrettin likes this.
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  5. tablariddim forexU2 Valued Senior Member

    Thanks Bells. Well I'm sorry to hear that you had/have your own issues with the dreaded disease. As you say there's a lot of misinformation on the web regarding cannabis as a cure-all, but this is why I'm doing my own research here on a site that feels like home and that I can trust. Wishing you and yours the best of health.
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  7. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    I'd do the chemo if it is offered. It kept my wife going for 7 years with ovarian cancer, which is pretty good going, and with few side-effects. We treated it like a game of "whack a mole". Have a set of treatments, knock it down, wait for it come up again and then bash it again with something else, to avoid the problem of resistance. If you tolerate the chemo well and you have a good oncologist to ring the changes intelligently, then it can give a lot of extra years. Me, I wouldn't p1ss about with unproven remedies - cancer is too serious.
  8. tablariddim forexU2 Valued Senior Member

    I tolerated the 4 cycles of chemo pretty well but it proved to be ineffective. To make matters worse I only have one kidney (from birth) and protecting it from chemo damage is a real balancing act.
  9. DrKrettin Registered Senior Member

    This is the crux of the matter, I think. Recently a good friend of mine had chemo for lung cancer and he estimated that it gave him one or two months longer to live. Unfortunately he reacted so badly to the treatment that the time gained had zero quality of life (his words), so he actually regretted it. Presumably, the type of cancer is a key factor in making this impossible decision.
  10. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Yes this is a very interesting question. My wife dutifully went out and bought a sickbowl when she was told she needed chemo. But she never once used it. They gave her anti-vom medicines along with the chemo and this seemed to do the trick. The main drug was the trusty old carboplatin (chemically interesting as it has a sterically strained 4 membered carbon ring in its structure), and taxol (which made her hair fall out) and a couple of others to ring the changes but they all seemed not too bad. She kept working throughout, apart from the days on which she was being transfused with the drugs.

    I have read that one of the fields that remains largely unexplored in medicine is why individual responses to drugs are so variable, given that we have nominally the same biochemistry.

    I also read that every cancer is in some ways unique, due to the way it arises. In some ways we were lucky, I suppose. Compared to some others, at least.
  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Here in the USA, marijuana is commonly used as an appetite stimulant for chemotherapy patients. Chemotherapy typically causes terrible nausea, making it impossible for the patient to get adequate nutrition.

    I first learned about this around 25 years ago. The teenage son of my friends had cancer--after all these years I don't even remember what kind. He looked almost literally like a skeleton--or perhaps an Auschwitz refugee.

    Within two weeks of beginning cannabis therapy, he was not only eating normally, but happily taking extra food, which slowly brought his body weight back to a reasonable level. Doctors didn't have access to marijuana in those days, but all of his neighbors--and even the local police--knew what was going on and kept it quiet as his parents turned their back yard into a cannabis garden.

    I haven't seen these folks for 30 years, but the last time I did see them, their son had been cancer-free for about five years.
    Even now, 30 years later, cannabis is generally used primarily as an appetite stimulant, although scientists are investigating other possible uses.
    And well you should. It's a godsend for chemotherapy patients, but that's about as far as it goes. It clearly has no effect on the cancer itself.
    Indeed. It's not 1985 anymore, and any cancer specialist today knows all of the benefits of cannabis, as well as its limitations.
    And I doubt that it ever will be. Its (almost) exclusive effect on cancer patients is to counteract the negative effects of chemotherapy.

    I've been following the news on the connection between cannabis and chemotherapy for decades. And I must, sadly, report that return of appetite is still, apparently, its only use. Fortunately, that's a rather important use, which can save a lot of lives.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017

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