The chances of getting diagnosed with cancer as you go through life is high. A cancer diagnosis is a difficult and scary situation to handle, and this is especially true when it’s brain cancer. While high-level treatment is helpful, the average survival rate for brain cancer is less than a year. The traditional treatment options for brain cancer are usually expensive but do not offer a cure or increase a patient’s life expectancy.
Many patients are now seeking alternative treatments with medical cannabis, quickly gaining popularity as their favorite. Multiple reports showing how cannabis can stop the growth of brain tumors give hope to cancer patients. Cannabis also has the potential to kill the cancer cells directly and help with radiation and chemotherapy. If you consider using cannabis as a treatment for brain cancer, then this article will help.
Understanding Brain Cancer
There are different types of brain tumors including benign, malignant, metastatic, or primary. A benign tumor does not spread to nearby areas and, while it’s less severe than malignant tumors, a benign tumor can press on adjacent brain tissue and resulting in other brain problems.
A malignant tumor can rapidly begin to overpower nearby healthy cells. Malignant tumors may also possibly spread to other body parts including the spine or lymph nodes. The spread of cancer cells from one part of the body to the brain is known as a metastatic tumor. These metastatic tumors are the most prevalent form of brain cancer. A primary tumor usually starts with abnormal cells growing a tumor directly in the brain. Some common types of brain tumors include gliomas, pituitary adenomas, and meningiomas.
While the symptoms of metastatic and primary brain cancer are similar, the symptoms of brain tumors generally vary based on size, location, and rate of growth. The primary brain cancer symptoms include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- A gradual increase in both the severity and frequency of headaches
- Difficulty with balance
- Vision problems such as blurred vision or loss of peripheral vision
- Issues with hearing
- Speech delays
- Unexplainable personality changes
Current treatments and their side effects
The popular treatment options for brain cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Many brain cancer patients do receive surgery to extract the tumor. If the tumor extraction process is unsuccessful, the doctor will take a small sample of it to determine the type of tumor. When it comes to benign tumor, surgically removing the tumor will cure the patient’s symptoms. Like any other surgery, there are risks involved. Furthermore, patients may lose their vision if the tumor being removed is located near any eye nerves.
How medical cannabis can help
Brain cancer is a very difficult type of cancer to treat, which is why there are many medical cannabis research studies about it. One study on a group of researchers from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Complutense University in Madrid analyzed the relationship between cannabinoids and brain tumors. This group of researchers extracted THC- the primary psychoactive cannabinoid- and applied it to glioblastoma cells. This led to shocking results; the tumor cells stopped growing and afterward, began to die. Further researchers discovered that apart from stopping tumor growth, cannabis compounds initiate cellular apoptosis (cell death) and block cells from gaining access to the blood supply necessary to remain active.
While brain cancer is very aggressive, medical cannabis research gives hope and outshines the available conventional treatments. It is highly recommended to contact a medical cannabis practitioner before using cannabis for brain cancer.