Long considered a culture war battle between different political ideologies, the battle over the legalization of marijuana (at least for medical use) has largely been won by those in favor of legalization. There are only 13 states in the US that do not at least permit the medical use of marijuana within their borders. This is due in part to a larger cultural acceptance of the use of marijuana, and also because of the advancements in the medical science that helps us know that cannabis is indeed quite useful in combating various health ailments. Today, we will look at how cannabis may potentially be used in the battle against gastric cancer.
What is Gastric Cancer?
Gastric cancer or stomach cancer is defined by the cancer cells that form in the lining of the stomach of the victim of this form of cancer. Cancer.gov gives an in-depth review of how gastric cancer forms in the lining of the stomach:
The wall of the stomach is made up of 5 layers of tissue. From the innermost layer to the outermost layer, the layers of the stomach wall are: mucosa, submucosa, muscle, subserosa (connective tissue), and serosa. Gastric cancer begins in the mucosa and spreads through the outer layers as it grows.
Receiving word that you have gastric cancer, or any cancer type, is troubling news. However, there are treatment options available for those who receive this diagnosis. Additionally, research is still ongoing into the causes and triggers of this issue and into possible treatments. Some of that research has centered on the use of medical cannabis or CBD treatment to help treat the disease and/or ease its symptoms (more on that later).
Symptoms of Gastric Cancer
There are many potential symptoms of gastric cancer that one may experience. The challenging thing about this is that many of the symptoms of gastric cancer or stomach cancer are also symptoms of other diseases and issues as well. However, you should pay attention if you begin to experience any of the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Bloated feeling after eating
Those are just the symptoms that are experienced in the early stages of gastric cancer. As cancer progresses, you may also experience:
- Blood in your stool
- Trouble swallowing
These symptoms are medical emergencies, and they ought to be handled as such. It is critical that anyone experiencing these types of symptoms get in touch with a doctor right away so they don’t allow the symptoms to get worse unnecessarily.
Risk Factors For Gastric Cancer
There are numerous risk factors that can come into play for developing gastric cancer. These risk factors are all of the usual suspects including: age, diet, and family history. However, there are some others that you should know about as well.
Cigarette smoking is known to be linked to a number of different potential health issues, and gastric cancer is one of them. It is unfortunate that people who are addicted to cigarettes face so many health consequences for their choice to continue smoking. However, this should provide them with even more motivation to quit the habit and find the help and support that they need to do so.
Eating Improperly Stored Foods
Most foods need to be properly stored so they won’t spoil or pose any other type of health risk to the person who eats them. If food is consumed that has been improperly stored, then the body may react to it rather rapidly. It is fairly common for there to be a major reaction from the body as far as becoming inflamed and having other responses to it as well. Gastric cancer can develop in some situations when food is eaten that was not properly stored.
Eating a Salty Diet
Consuming too much salt in one’s diet is never a good idea, and it is important to pay particular attention to this when you realize that you could develop gastric cancer as a result. Science tells us that a diet high in salt and low in fruits and vegetables is exactly the kind of diet that gastric cancer can thrive on.
Cannabis and Gastric Cancer: May it Be Useful?
Other than how to treat stomach cancer, the biggest question in the minds of many is if there is a link between using medical cannabis and relief from the symptoms of gastric cancer. There are some known medical benefits to using medical cannabis including:
- Improved appetite
- Reduced pain
- Help dealing with feelings of anxiety
- Assistance fighting nausea and vomiting
- Helps combat depression
Those are all known upsides of using medical marijuana, so it stands to reason that there might be some benefit to using medical marijuana for the purposes of combating the symptoms of gastric cancer as well. After all, many of the symptoms of gastric cancer are things that cannabis is known to target directly.
Some research has been done with CBD specifically to see how it may have an impact on gastric cancer:
Preliminary experiments have shown that CBD can significantly inhibit the proliferation and induce apoptosis in SGC-7901 cells, suggesting that CBD may be a potential chemotherapeutic drug for gastric cancer.
However, CBD lacks certain elements contained within marijuana that has not yet been fully tested. That said, the expectation is that the positive results generated from studies involving CBD may help spur more research into what marijuana use can do to help people suffering from this form of cancer. Those answers are not yet known, but all signs are pointing in the direction of cannabis likely having a positive impact on the comfort and lives of people dealing with gastric cancer.
Tests Used to Diagnosis Gastric Cancer
How to detect stomach cancer? Before one starts too far down the path of assuming that they have gastric cancer and that they must seek out every treatment option that they can possibly find, it is a good idea to try to get tested to determine an official diagnosis. Just having potential symptoms is not nearly enough.
Here at the Immune Therapy Center, we look to try to help people get the diagnosis that they require by exploring the different types of tests to get the information that we need to diagnose gastric cancer or even mesothelioma, gallbladder and liver cancer if applicable.
It is essential for us to begin with a physical examination of each patient to see if there are any obvious physical signs that they are suffering from a physical ailment. Additionally, we will ask the patient about any family medical history that might be relevant as well. This is done to try to determine if there are extra risk factors that may pertain to the patient that we are examining at this time. We want to ensure that our exam is as complete as possible and that we have as much information as we can before making a diagnosis.
Blood Chemistry Test
Should the concern about gastric cancer exist, we may require a blood sample to be taken in order to perform a blood chemistry test in order to see what is present within the patient. This first blood test requires just a small amount of blood and is meant to detect the existence of any particular chemicals within the bloodstream that may be a sign of disease. Most cancer patients cannot feel the changes in the chemical balance of their body except for the fact that they may begin to develop certain symptoms of a disease that they want to get checked out. That is exactly why we perform this test.
A procedure that may need to be performed on a patient in the event that their bloodwork turns up results that are cause for concern is an endoscopy procedure. This procedure allows us to put the patient under while we insert a tube into their mouth that ultimately goes down into their stomach. It allows us to examine various internal areas of the patient that may show signs of gastric cancer. Patients have to be put under for this procedure because the gag reflex prohibits the human body from having a tube placed down the throat like this while it is conscious. Fortunately, we have the tools necessary to put the patient to sleep. The procedure does not take very long at all, and the patient will feel as if nothing at all happened.
The Road to Recovery
Our hope is for every patient we see to get on the road to recovery. We seek to provide them with the very best care and the most up-to-date information about cancer treatment options and scientific progress being made on this disease. We understand how challenging it can be for them to return home after learning that they have cancer, but we want to provide them with some hope that there are gallbladder and liver cancer or gastric and stomach cancer alternative treatment, as well as different types of mesothelioma in the works, and that we are doing everything possible on our end to help make sure they receive the care that they require in order to start to feel better.
Written By: Dr. Adolfo Carrillo
Dr. Adolfo Carrillo is a Board Certified Medical Doctor from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California.
Dr. Carrillo has been collaborating with Dr. Bautista for over 5 years as a treating physician at the Immunity the Immunity Therapy Center. Dr. Carrillo is a charismatic Doctor whose knowledge and commitment to patient care and bringing healing to patients is a valuable asset to our center.
At Immunity Therapy Center, our goal is to provide objective, updated, and research-based information on all health-related topics. This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles. All information has been fact-checked and reviewed by Dr. Carlos Bautista, a Board Certified Medical Doctor at Immunity Therapy Center. All information published on the site must undergo an extensive review process to ensure accuracy. This article contains trusted sources with all references hyperlinked for the reader's visibility.