Urologic cancers are cancers that attack the structures and organs of the female and male urinary tract as well as the male reproductive structures. Urologic cancer is the general term for cancers of the kidney, testicles, bladder, penis, and prostate.

The Cancer Society of America believes that urological cancers make up about 23% of all commonly diagnosed cancer. The treatment and diagnosis of urological tumors have greatly improved considerably due to better detection, sophisticated imaging, and the discovery of disease-specific molecular markers.

Urologic cancers (or malignancies of the urinary system ) are suspected of having connections to genetic, lifestyle, environmental, and other factors. Methods for treating and identifying urologic malignancies have gotten better over time, and patients are now given a variety of alternatives based on their needs and goals.

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Cannabis and Medical Treatment

Cannabis sativa L. is the most significant source of phytocannabinoids and has been employed as a herbal treatment for generations. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is made up of endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids), receptors, and metabolizing enzymes. It is crucial for many pathological and physiological processes.

In order to influence the onset or spread of diseases, including cancer,  synthetic cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids may interact with the elements of the endocannabinoid system or other cellular pathways. Cannabinoids have mostly been used in cancer patients’ palliative care to treat pain, treat nausea, and increase appetite.

Cannabinoids also showed anticancer benefits in a variety of cancer types in multiple cell cultures and animal experiments.

A Study on Cannabis and Urological Cancer 

A recent study which was published in the journal Cancer Medicine looked into the link between the incidence of urological malignancies and cannabis use. Researchers examined the cannabis usage of 151,945 people who had information on cannabis usage in the UK Biobank between 2006 and 2010.

“Crude and maturity level incidence ratios of various urological malignancies were examined in the total cohort and subgroups,” according to the study’s methodology. “For survival analysis, Cox regression was used,” according to the study undertaken by academics from France, the United Kingdom, and China.

RELATED: Can Cannabis Prevent Urological Cancers? Study On 150,000 Patients Sheds New Light

For the result of the study, according to the researchers, frequent prior use of marijuana was found to be a strong defensive factor for prostate cancer and renal cell carcinoma in multivariable analysis. Another link was seen between previous cannabis usage and bladder cancer, as well as renal cell carcinoma in women but not in males. The study also discovered no link between testicular cancer and the use of cannabis.

In conclusion of the research, it was stated that there was a link between preexisting cannabis usage and reduced risk of prostate cancer, bladder cancer, and renal cell carcinoma. The inverse relationship between marijuana and both bladder cancer and renal cell carcinoma is found only in females and not found in males.

Medical Cannabis In Advanced Cancer Treatment 

According to information published in the journal Cureus, patients who have advanced cancer respond positively to medical marijuana.

Researchers from the Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, New York, studied the use of marijuana by people with cancer for palliative purposes. All the trial participants were registered in the medical marijuana registry of the state.

RELATED: Cannabis Is Beneficial For Patients With Advanced Cancer, Finds Latest Medical Studies

In line with previous research, 85% of individuals (the majority) reported improvements in their symptoms after using cannabis, with almost half reporting decreases in discomfort. In line with earlier studies, a sizable portion (45%) of the participants reported reducing their use of opioid painkillers. Less than 4% of subjects reported any negative effects from using medical marijuana products.

The scientists came to a conclusion that “medical cannabis seems to have an essential function in the palliation of symptoms in advanced malignancies with few adverse effects.” Prioritize prospective research that looks into this therapeutic approach.

Effects of Medical Cannabis on Cancer-Related Pain 

Opioid analgesics have historically been the principal treatment for cancer-related pain. Ninety-five percent of patients reported treatment success in a recent Cochrane collaborative evaluation of opioids as treatment for cancer pain, which thoroughly evaluated 152 publications with 13,524 patients. However, most patients did not adequately estimate pain reduction.

cancer patient marijuana
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The studies that served as the foundation for the treatment choice were outdated, had small sample sizes, and had negative reaction rates that ranged from 11 to 77%, leading one researcher to conclude that the quality of the findings in support of opioid medications is low. That is likely one of the factors contributing to the majority of oncologists’ perception of opioid treatment as risky and the need for alternative medicines.

Medical cannabis is a promising alternative to opioid-based medications. The research on cannabis, particularly for the treatment of cancer-related pain, is lacking in understanding, and the findings are debatable. The effects of cannabis on cancer-related pain and, sparsely, on other cancer symptoms have been the subject of relatively few randomized clinical trials and even fewer cohorts. As a result, there is only a minimum recommendation for using marijuana to relieve cancer pain.

RELATED: Is Cannabis Now Winning The Fight Against Cervical Cancer?

Although these studies relied on randomized clinical experiments, the majority of them had tiny sample sizes, necessitating further research. A more current meta-analysis revealed that Nabiximols had no beneficial effect on cancer pain. However, a recent study found that the majority of cancer patients asked their oncologist for medical cannabis treatment.

Patients typically tolerate the negative effects resulting from these cannabinoids, which are classified as mild to moderate in severity. The most frequent negative effects include sleepiness, xerostomia (dry mouth),  vomiting, and nausea. The use of cannabinoids as a treatment for cancer-related pain is usually regarded as harmless.

However, drug-to-drug interactions need to be considered. Recent prospective and retrospective investigations found that administering immunotherapy along with medical cannabis treatment resulted in lower response rates.

Bottom Line

Owing to the fact that it is a relatively new phenomenon, more findings or research has to be carried out in regard to the full effect or benefit of cannabis as a treatment for cancer. However, studies are already showing some positives. The recent study on cannabis and urological cancers has shown that rye use of medical cannabis has helped patients alleviate the pain caused by cancer.

This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.

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