Studies by Kaiser Permanente Show Association Between Cannabis Use and Risk of Bladder Cancer
By Asma Mohammed
Marijuana use is on the rise. With the recent legalizations of medical and even recreational use around the United States, cannabis is becoming more widely accepted in society. Medical marijuana is being used to treat hundreds of different ailments and symptoms, with the most common ones being depression, anxiety, insomnia, glaucoma, pain, seizures, etc. Marijuana is also used a lot in helping cancer patients relieve their symptoms as well as ease the discomfort that comes with chemotherapy. Recent studies, however, are showing that cannabis use can actually prevent bladder cancer, in some men.
In a study by the American Cancer Society (ACS), there were an estimated 81,190 new cases of bladder cancer in the past year, with about 62,380 of those cases reported in men. The ACS also found Bladder Cancer to be the fourth most common cancer in men. Bladder Cancer proves to be one of the biggest concerns facing older men in America. While finding a cure is extremely important, another crucial aspect to focus on is prevention. Studies done by Kaiser Permanente compared the risk of Bladder Cancer in more than 83,000 men to demonstrate this amazing discovery. The men who participated in the study were aged 45-69 years and the research was centered on men who smoked only marijuana, only cigarettes, or both. The overall results of the experiment showed that 41% reported cannabis use, 57% reported tobacco use, and 27% used both, while 29% used neither. The men in the study were followed over an 11-year period to accurately assess their health and the development of cancer, or lack thereof.
It’s a commonly known fact that smoking cigarettes cause cancer, but the same cannot be said about marijuana. In fact, the study found that in the men that participated in the research, only 279 developed bladder tumors were found, and only 89 of those affected were cannabis users, compared to the other 190 who did not report cannabis use. Researchers ultimately concluded that “Although a cause and effect relationship has not been established, cannabis use may be inversely associated with bladder cancer risk in this population.” In an overall results category, researchers stated that participants who smoked tobacco only had an increased risk of bladder cancer, while cannabis use was associated with a 45% reduction in bladder cancer incidence.
There is always the argument of correlation versus causation which can be used in controversial studies such as this. However, because the evidence is so strong and there doesn’t seem to be any downside, why not consider the option of medical marijuana as a preventative step similar to vitamins, diet, or exercise. And for anyone worried about the idea of using cannabis for the first time, consult an expert, and consider a high CBD strain with a low THC. Any budtender will be able to recommend one that’s right for you. With this type of strain, you can experience all of the natural health benefits of cannabis without the sensation of being high, making it a safer alternative for many older users who worry about using cannabis for the first time.
Marijuana is clearly the safer, healthier choice, and in this instance, it’s a lifesaver. While cannabis can be used in many cases of cancer to help relieve symptoms, it’s a much better idea to use it in the cases of prevention. If there is a chance you might have bladder cancer, if you are showing symptoms, or if your family has a history of bladder cancer, talk to your doctor or a specialist about medical marijuana as a possible preventative measure.
There is no reason to needlessly suffer from diseases in this day and age when there are so many options. Marijuana is also one of the most affordable treatments for illnesses, so you can avoid the high prices that you normally have to pay at pharmacies. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars to pharmaceutical and health insurance companies for chemicals that have horrible side effects; the same money could go towards a legal dispensary which is more affordable, and the tax dollars will go right back into the economy to help fund education and public resources, without the side effects.
Originally posted 2018-02-15 10:00:15.