When it comes to medical marijuana, you can talk to your oncologist, and he or she may tell you to “go for it,” but don’t expect much “evidence-based” research to come with that recommendation. Don’t expect the federal government to conduct research on a substance that is federally illegal.
When I read an oncologist stating that “more research needs to be done” about a therapy that shows potential to help me and cancer patients in general, I get frustrated with the federal government.
The fact is, there is growing research that medical marijuana, CBD oil, etc. can provide integrative and complementary support to cancer patients and survivors. Those oncologists who encourage cancer patients to “go for it” despite the fact that they don’t feel qualified to do so are simply trying to help cancer patients.
“Most cancer doctors say they don’t know enough about medical marijuana to provide an informed opinion to patients.
Nevertheless, many go ahead and give its use their blessing, a national survey reveals.
Seven out of 10 oncologists surveyed in the United States said they aren’t informed enough about the risks and benefits of medical marijuana to recommend its use to patients, according to findings published May 10 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
But eight out of 10 cancer doctors said they’ve discussed medical marijuana with patients in the past year, and 46 percent have gone so far as to recommend its use in cancer treatment…
To assess how cancer doctors are grappling with this issue, Braun and her colleagues surveyed a nationally representative random sample of 400 oncologists.
The responses revealed that:
“UPDATED May 11, 2018 // The majority of oncologists in the United States have discussed medical marijuana (MM) with their patients at some point in time, although fewer than one third of them feel well enough equipped to do so knowledgeably, the first nationally representative survey of its kind indicates.
The results of the survey were published online May 10 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
“In this study, we identified a concerning discrepancy: although 80% of the oncologists we surveyed discussed medical marijuana with patients and nearly half recommended use of the agent clinically, less than 30% of the total sample actually consider themselves knowledgeable enough to make such recommendations,” said lead author Ilana Braun, MD, chief of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Division of Adult Psychosocial Oncology, Boston, Massachusetts…
“Thirty U.S. states have enacted medical cannabis laws, and all but one of them include cancer in the list of conditions allowed. Such laws give cancer patients across the country access to a substance that remains illegal under federal law.
Anecdotal reports suggest marijuana is helpful in managing symptoms of chemotherapy, like pain and nausea. But it’s unlikely curious patients are getting clear guidance from their doctors on whether they should try marijuana, which form might work best and how much to take. A new survey of 237 oncologists from around the country finds that while roughly 80 percent talk with their patients about marijuana, fewer than 30 percent feel they have sufficient knowledge to advise them about its medicinal use.
Despite their shaky knowledge of the drug, nearly half of all oncologists do recommend medical cannabis to their patients, according to the study, which was published Thursday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. But more than half of those suggesting it, don’t consider themselves knowledgeable to do so, says Dr. Ilana Braun, a cancer psychiatrist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Mass. and the study’s lead author…”
“Conclusion- Our findings identify a concerning discrepancy between oncologists’ self-reported knowledge base and their beliefs and practices regarding MM. Although 70% of oncologists do not feel equipped to make clinical recommendations regarding MM, the vast majority conduct discussions with patients about MM and nearly one-half do, in fact, recommend it clinically. A majority believes MM is useful for certain indications. These findings are clinically important and suggest critical gaps in research, medical education, and policy regarding MM.