I had started having abdominal pain in 2007.
In July of 2010, I was in the ER with severe abdominal pain. Once again, it happened about 20-30 minutes after I ate. The attending physician told me that he needed to “pop my hood & check my oil.” He told me that I had a cyst on my ovary, prescribed dilaudid, and sent me home. Later that month, I once again find myself in the ER in another town with severe abdominal pain. They did scans, ran a lot of tests, and determined that I had colon cancer.
Eight inches of my colon and a 7.2 cm tumor were removed from my ascending colon. I did 18 rounds of chemotherapy, with many medications to follow.
I had been a recreational user of cannabis for over 20 years, and a firm believer in it being better for me than any “man-made” drug. Now, with cancer, I was prescribed several medications for pain: Lortab, Percocet, and Oxycodone. Through it all, I may have taken 6 pain pills, I didn’t need/want them because I had cannabis!
Their Pills Made Me Sick
I only took the Oxycodone one time, it made me very sick, which is something I didn’t need being sick already. So, I chose to go from a recreational cannabis smoker to using it to control my pain and nausea. Let me tell you, it was better than any medicine I had been given.
My oncologist was aware that I smoked and had told me to do what worked for me….that was fantastic! I started smoking white widow, 60% sativa-40% indica on a daily basis whenever I would start hurting and I felt great!
My team of physicians explained to me that my cancer was genetic from my birth mother and that it would come back, they just couldn’t say when or where. They also stated that my tumor had started growing inside me approximately 8-10 years before it was discovered.
The one thing can say about cannabis is that it saved my life! I am still cancer free (7 years) and cannabis keeps me off of “man-made” pharmecuticals! I am a very firm believer in the medical miracles of cannabis! LEGALIZE!
RxLeaf: Cannabis and Colon Cancer
The most amazing thing about this story may not be the cannabis at all, but the attitude of the oncologist.
After all, many patients have success treating colon cancer symptoms with cannabis. It’s scientifically backed up.
While the research is currently only petri dish research, and has no human subjects, a 2013 studyRomano, B., Borrelli, F., Pagano, E., Cascio, M. G., Pertwee, R. G., & Izzo, A. A. (2014). Inhibition of colon carcinogenesis by a standardized Cannabis sativa extract with high content of … Continue readingpublished in Phytomedicine found CBD reduced the spread of colon cancer cells while allowing other cells to carry on as normal. Laboratory mice injected with CBD saw a forty percent decline in tumor formation and when tumors did form, they were much smaller than those of the control group.
Further evidence suggests that some of the flavonoids present in cannabis have potential colon cancer-fighting powers as well. Purely anecdotal evidence from many people suggests they found relief from cancer by taking Rick Simpson Oil or making their own.
But while anecdotal evidence and scientific research have made it clear that cannabis could potentially help stop some cancers, and even colon cancer, practicing physicians aren’t always convinced.
Doctors and Colon Cancer
Most of the physicians practicing today went to medical school before cannabis legalization. The prevailing medical wisdom has long been that cannabis provides no medical benefit and plenty of drawbacks.
Today, that attitude is clearly flawed. But it’s hard to change long-held beliefs, and many doctors have difficulty accepting that cannabis — a substance they’ve so long associated with the worst aspects of society — is a healing plant.
Doctors gave the above patient so many harmful medicines — like the narcotic opioids Percocet and Oxycodone and Lortab, which all carry a fatal risk of addiction. They also produce side effects that include sedation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and respiratory depression, according to research published in Pain Physician (2008).Benyamin, Ramsin Benyamin et al. (2008). Opioid complications and side effects. Pain Physician, (2 Suppl):S105-20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18443635.
Cannabis is a much kinder pain reliever. While it has side effects — like the potential for short-term memory difficulties and, in some cases, spurring anxiety and paranoia — these are nothing compared to the side effects and withdrawal symptoms of opioids.
Doctors think it’s bad because it’s illegal, and the federal government swears it had no medical value. But that’s not true. Even the most august medical bodies have made serious concessions about the ability of cannabis to treat tremors. Its pain-relieving properties are close behind.
Despite the reams of research, high-level medical authorities, like the U.S. Surgeon General, have condemned cannabis while providing no evidence that it’s harmful.
How to Reconcile Science and Belief
Today, science has become a buffet. People pick which facts they want to believe and pass on the rest.
That’s harmful for many — like children who die from preventable diseases because their parents refuse vaccinations. Or like breast cancer patients who opt for essential oils in lieu of evidence-backed medicine. cannabis is different, however.
Cannabis is one of the rare “alternative” medical treatments that real science backs up. The same peer-reviewed journals that publish research on cancer, auto-immune disorders, and aging, have dedicated barrels of ink to research proving the efficacy of cannabis. The call is coming from inside the house.
Colon cancer patients deserve the best treatment, and cannabis has potential. It’s time to put beliefs about the dangerous effects of cannabis to the same skepticism as all other medicine. It’s time for doctors to trust the science and to give patients a voice in their treatment.
|↑1||Romano, B., Borrelli, F., Pagano, E., Cascio, M. G., Pertwee, R. G., & Izzo, A. A. (2014). Inhibition of colon carcinogenesis by a standardized Cannabis sativa extract with high content of cannabidiol. Phytomedicine, 21(5), 631-639.|
|↑2||Benyamin, Ramsin Benyamin et al. (2008). Opioid complications and side effects. Pain Physician, (2 Suppl):S105-20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18443635.|