About Chemotherapy Side Effects

It’s unfortunate that there are such huge profits associated with cancer treatment. Over $200 billion yearly is spent in the U.S. alone on traditional treatments for cancer such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

 

Chemotherapy began with “nitrogen mustards” in the 1940’s, while no one was cured of cancer, tumors shrunk and chemotherapy was declared a success in treating cancer. Eventually, synthetic versions of these toxins were developed leading to our modern chemotherapy drugs.

 

The problem with chemotherapy drugs is that they don’t just kill cancerous cells; they kill pretty much everything. Furthermore, they actually make some cancers worse and can even cause secondary cancers.

 

What Causes Chemotherapy Side Effects

 

Chemotherapy is a toxic and invasive treatment that doctors use to treat many forms of cancer. However, the chemicals used are unable to differentiate between healthy cells and cancerous cells. Statistics actually show that those who don’t get treated with chemotherapy have a better chance of surviving longer. Cancertutor.com quotes MD Allen Levin of UCSF, saying,

 

“Most cancer patients in this country die of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy does not eliminate breast, colon, or lung cancers. This fact has been documented for over a decade, yet doctors still use chemotherapy for these tumors.”

 

Health care providers injecting chemotherapy drugs into patients wear protective equipment because even a drop can severely burn and damage the skin. Sensory loss, audio-visual impairment, nausea, diarrhea, loss of hair, loss of appetite, leading to malnutrition, loss of sex drive, loss of white blood cells, permanent organ damage, organ failure, internal bleeding, tissue loss, and artery deterioration are just the beginning of the long list of the direct effects of chemotherapy.

 

Pharmaceutical Management of Chemotherapy Side Effects

 

The side effects of chemotherapy should properly be referred to as the direct effects of chemotherapy because the chemo drugs are directly causing hair to fall out and organs to fail. Beyond the physical effects of chemo drugs, there are a plethora of mental health issues that cancer patients have to manage. Depression, anxiety, distress, appetite issues, and fear not only of pain from treatment or dying, but also knowing that chemotherapy can cause secondary cancers.

 

Doctors prescribe various pharmaceutical medications to help manage the debilitating effects of chemo drugs. Cancer patients suffering from chemotherapy are often prescribed addictive [benzodiazepines] (anti-anxiety pills) and SSRI antidepressants, along with other harmful medications to encourage eating, uplift in mood, and manage the pain and inflammation of chemo drugs.

 

Science has not cured cancer for the masses and the frontline treatments are worse than not treating the disease at all. Cancer and its treatment are associated with pain and suffering. The pharmaceutical companies making billions of dollars in profits from this industry should realize that health care shouldn’t be about profits. It should be about preventing cancers, healing cancers, and it should focus on the patient’s mental and physical well-being.

 

How Medical Marijuana Can Help Chemotherapy Side Effects

 

Thanks to advancements in medical marijuana research geneticists have been able to create strains that can more accurately address patients needs. Scientists are learning that compounds such as [THC] and [CBD] act differently on the [endocannabinoid system]. They also find they [terpenes], aromatic compounds found throughout nature, play an integral part in how and where THC and CBD act in the body.

 

A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management focused on learning how THC extract versus THC: CBD extract can help patients with intractable cancer-related pain.  The study focused on cancer patients who reported opioids to not sufficiently manage their pain from chemotherapy or radiation. In their findings, they report that THC: CBD extract provided twice as many patients with relief than the THC extract alone.

 

The year after this study was published, in 2011, author Ethan B Russo published an article in the British Journal of Pharmacology entitled Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. He concludes by suggesting,

 

“…Selective breeding of cannabis chemotypes rich in [phytocannabinoids] and terpenoids offer complementary pharmacological activities that may strengthen and broaden clinical applications and improve the therapeutic index of cannabis extracts…”

 

Medical marijuana rich in essential terpenes and secondary cannabinoids can help with chemotherapy side effects. Science is finding that specific terpene and CBD: THC ratios work holistically in the body on a variety of mental and physical systems. Speak with a physician and cannabis professional to find out what strains can address which symptoms of chemotherapy such as pain, nausea, and vomiting, anxiety, depression, inflammation, and lack of appetite. Listed below are strains reported to help with these conditions, as well as, follow the conditions links in this article for more information on medical marijuana research.

 

·   [[Amnesia Lemon]]

·   [[Blackberry Hashplant]]

·   [[Blueberry Jam]]

·   [[Bronze Whaler]]

·   [[Critical Mass]]

·   [[Death Bubba]]

·   [[Dream Queen]]

·   [[Dutch Treat]]

·   [[Euphoria]]

·   [[Ewok]]

·   [[Fortune Cookies]]

·   [[Fucking Incredible]]

·   [[Grape Kush]]

·   [[Hindu Kush]]

·   [[Jupiter OG]]

·   [[King Kong Kush]]

·   [[LA Confidential]]

·   [[Mango]]

·   [[Moby dick]]

·   [[Nordle]]

 

Sources:

TTAC (2017) Web

Karagiannis, George S. (2017) Science Translational Medicine. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy induces breast cancer metastasis through a TMEM-mediated mechanism.

Ransom, Steven. (2017) Death by doctoring. Fraught with risks and side effects. Web.

Johnson, Jeremy R. MB ChB. (2010) Journal of Pain and Symptom Management V 39 Issue 2. Web.

Russo, Ethan B. (2011) British Journal of Pharmacology. doi:  10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x

Top Strains That May Help With Chemotherapy Side Effects