Though cancer can present in various forms that attack many different parts of the body, a great many patients with cancer will also be in remission. Cancer remission is when the signs and symptoms of cancer in a patient have lessened or are undetectable. Many patients will have to continue treatment or therapy during remission, and medical marijuana in PA is still available for such patients!
Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body, generally to the extent that it disrupts or impairs the body’s normal functioning. You can find our blog specific to Cancer & Medical Marijuana here. As previously mentioned, patients reach remission when such symptoms have reduced significantly or stopped completely. There are different kinds of remission, partial remission (there is at least a 50% reduction in measurable tumor size or cancer cells) and complete remission (all detectable cancer is gone). Doctors identify remission through a series of tests (x-rays, MRIs, bloodwork) to measure cancer’s progression, regression, or lack of presence.
Remission is something that is determined by the doctor on a case-by-case basis for their patients, and the terms of remission may look different between patients and can be dependent on the cancer’s prognosis and the type of cancer a patient had. Remission doesn’t mean that the cancer is cured or gone forever, and in many cases will still require going through some kind of therapy or treatment like chemotherapy. That being said, cancer remission can still be a very hopeful and even happy time for some patients. Because patients can still experience symptoms related to their treatment during cancer remission, medical marijuana is an approved option in PA for such patients.
How Medical Marijuana Can Help Patients in Remission
Similar to how medical marijuana is used in helping patients going through cancer treatments, medical marijuana for patients going through remission is generally targeted towards helping to manage and mitigate the side effects of the treatment. One of the most notable ways marijuana can help with this is through appetite stimulation and antiemetic properties. As many patients go through chemotherapy as part of their remission process, a common side effect is a loss of appetite as well as nausea and vomiting. The THC in marijuana can be an appetite stimulant as well as helping to quell nausea, and in turn can help patients eat well so they are getting the nutrients their body needs.
Additional symptoms that patients in remission may continue to struggle with are pain and fatigue. THC and CBD can have helpful pain relieving effects, as well as the terpenes myrcene and caryophyllene. Additionally, those who may be struggling with fatigue may find help from sativa strains or more potentially energy boosting terpenes like pinene when they need to stay awake.
When considering marijuana as a part of your cancer remission plan/treatment, it is always important to first talk to your doctor about what will be best for you. A patient’s health and what is best for their body and tackling cancer so that they remain in remission and continue to get better is extremely important. If marijuana is something that can help patients through their remission process, then all the better.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been reviewed for accuracy by the FDA. As always, seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider when considering trying a new treatment. Do not start or stop taking any medications without speaking to your doctor first.