Mother Believes Cannabis Cured Her Daughter’s Medulloblastoma
A Facebook fight over medulloblastoma MRI results illustrates the polarization of cancer treatment, and the scary decisions parents have to make for their kids.
Becky F., of Michigan, U.S.A, believes that cannabis oil has cured her daughter’s brain cancer (medulloblastoma). A tidal wave of, equal parts, skepticism and celebration have blasted her inbox and plastered the Facebook page ever since she made the announcement. Things grew even more heated when Becky posted the latest MRI results and some pointed out that these indicate tumor growth!
Becky’s Daughter Has Medulloblastoma
Medulloblastoma accounts for 18 to 20% of childhood brain cancers, and has a survival rate of 70-80%. Prior to starting cannabis, Becky’s daughter had already suffered through several brain surgeries, rounds of chemo, and radiation. So when the cancer returned for a third time, her mother turned to a new medicine.
Doctors warned Becky that her daughter may experience permanent side effects from the cancer treatments, but also that without these, the cancer would kill her. The daughter also suffers from seizures and cancer pain, both of which are gone since starting cannabis, according to Becky.
The Controversy of Cannabis, Cancer, And Becky’s Post
While there’s certainly proof that cannabis can help cancer patients with the side effects of chemotherapy, and there’s growing proof of its cancer killing potential in the lab and in animal models, at this point, doctors recommend that cancer patients continue with chemotherapy.
Becky posted a 90-day supply of cannabis medicine, saying that THIS had kept her daughter cancer-free for 2 years. It has also treated her daughter’s seizures, allowing them to stop taking Keppra.
Very quickly, a poster named Amanda chymed in. Her uncle had recently died from medulloblastoma. Amanda was not against cannabis, just warned that this talk of a miracle cure is groundless and gives false hope to people; even worse, it could be dangerous if people abandon chemo and radiation.
Then Becky pulled out, what she thought were the big guns, the MRI reports.
The MRI Report Shows Growth Not Remission
The MRI report from February 2017, which preceded a brain surgery, showed clear lesions. At that time, the oncologist recommended follow up again with chemo and radiation, but Becky declined that treatment for her daughter. She started cannabis oil instead.
The next MRI that Becky shared was a written report covering the time period from August 2017 to February 2018. The radiologist made note of the growth of the lesions, according to the Facebook conversation. Becky insisted that her daughter was in remission and cured.
Amanda, and other commenters, quickly pointed that it actually showed the opposite. She pointed out that it seems like cannabis is slowing the tumor growth, but that the medulloblastoma was most certainly not in remission.
Would You Rely Solely On Cannabis If You Had Cancer? Would You Choose That For Your Child?
The most important thing about any medicine is to know its limitations. There is no miracle medicine. We do know with absolute proof that cannabis kills all tested cancer cell lines, but this work has only been done in a lab. Will the same happen in the human body? That is not yet known, scientifically.
We do know that there are so many hopeful stories about people curing their cancer with cannabis. These are anecdotal at this time. That is not the same thing as saying these are not true. And even if cannabis rid these people of their cancer, it doesn’t mean it will have success in the body of another human. This is true of every medicine.
These are intimately difficult decisions to make, even more so when one is treating a child. Of course we want the best for our littles, and we need them to live a long and happy life that extends far beyond our own. Becky is working hard to give this to her daughter, and she has seen her suffer so much through conventional treatments. If the lesions are growing, at what point do you give chemo and radiation another try?