What is cancer?
Cancer is a condition where cells in a specific part of the body grow and reproduce uncontrollably. These cancerous cells invade and destroy the healthy tissue around them and can occur anywhere in the body, including the organs. Where the cancer occurs affects what kind of cancer it is.
Roughly one in two people will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime. In the UK, the four most common types of cancer are:
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Bowel cancer
However, there are roughly 200 further forms of cancer, each with their own diagnostic process and treatment options.
Depending on the type of cancer, there are various different treatment options available. The first step is usually surgery, to remove the cancerous cells and tissue altogether. However, there are also two other common types of treatment:
- Chemotherapy: powerful prescription medicines
- Radiotherapy: controlled use of high-energy X-rays
Because of the range of side effects, doctors will usually only prescribe these treatments in aggressive forms of cancer where surgery hasn’t worked.
How can medical cannabis help with cancer-related pain?
In cases where traditional medicine hasn’t worked, or the side effects of conventional treatment are getting difficult to manage, medical cannabis can provide an alternative form of relief. A study from 2017 showed that use of medical cannabis showed improvements in pain, overall quality of life, and a variety of other symptoms in cancer patients.
For a disease where even the treatment can be painful and difficult to manage, finding ways to manage pain and other symptoms is vital. That’s where medical cannabis can be of use.
To read more about how medical cannabis can help to treat cancer-related pain, look at our condition page here.