Prostate is a soft gland that locates at the start of urethra - the tube in the penis that carries urine and semen, and is a part of male reproductive system. A healthy prostate weigh around 20-30 grams, a sick prostate can weigh up to 100 grams. Around 30 percent of semen is produces by prostate. During ejaculation prostate muscles help expel the semen. When affected by the disease prostate swells and squeezes the urethra. Cancer starts when healthy prostate cells grow old and instead of dying they start to multiply. Those malignant cells grow out of control and first invade prostate, then surrounding tissues and distant organs. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It exposes no symptoms when it begins and causes discomfort for a patient, when it has already started growing. Patients with an enlarged prostate urinate more often than it is needed, especially at night, have pain or burning while urination, difficulty starting and stopping a stream of urine, problems with ejaculation, pain in the lower part of the back. However, some men can have no symptoms. Tumor can be detected by physical examination, then patient may be asked to do a PSA blood test, but only biopsy can fully confirm prostate cancer. A PSA test helps to find prostate cancer at early stages before it causes any symptoms. Doctors may decide on any treatment of prostate cancer: surgery, chemo or/and radiotherapy, hormone therapy. Sometimes doctors recommend “watchful waiting".
Chemo- and radiation therapy harmful effect on the body is widely known. Powerful drugs and strong radiation beam destroy cancer and healthy cells indiscriminately. Cells in the digestive tract, hair follicles, bone marrow, mouth, and reproductive system, are the first to be affected by chemotherapy, however, all cells through the body can be affected as well. Chemo- and radiation therapy make patients feel fatigue and constant pain, lose appetite and weight, feel sick, refuse food, vomit, forget things, have fertility problems. Such changes in life don't encourage, moreover, a patient is in constant stress and depression. Medical use of marijuana reported to change life quality during treatment, counteract its undesirable effects and even cure cancer. Marijuana, or cannabis, has more than 400 natural compounds called cannabinoids. Recent studies show that the human body produces cannabinoids for itself. The human endocannabinoid system (ECS) consists of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors in the brain, that regulate multiple physiological processes, including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. The ECS mediates the psychoactive effects of cannabis. So called CB1 receptors are mainly located in the brain and central nervous system. CB2 receptors are concentrated in peripheral organs, especially cells associated with the immune system. The ECS exists to receive cannabinoids produced in our body called “Anadnamide" and “2-Arachidonyl-glycerol". Marijuana use stimulates ECS with its cannabinoids and restores balance. Researchers found that cannabinoids receptors are highly concentrated in cancerous prostate cells; this gives a chance to cure prostate cancer more effectively with marijuana. Scientists believe that cannabis blocks the receptors and inhibits tumor growth, also makes cancer cells kill themselves. The research conducted by University of Wisconsin (2005) shows, that the synthetic cannabinoid WIN55212-2 decreased cell viability and increased apoptosis (cell death) of prostate cancer cells. Another study published in 2009 confirmed the anti-tumoral effects of cannabinoids on prostate cancer cells using a different set of cannabinoids, one which mimicked the action of anandamide.
When a patient is receiving conventional treatment, cannabis may be used to alter eating behavior of the patient for better through the ECS: make him\her feel hungry, increase food palatability, produce energy from food . It means that cannabis makes patient like food and feel hungry, and eat normally during treatment. It can eliminate or ease some side effects, like nausea and vomiting, appetite loss. Regarding constant pain relief, marijuana numbs cannabinoids receptors in the brain and pain goes away. Many patients state that it helped them to feel better and relax. TCH (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main psychotropic compound in cannabis, that provides relaxation and sedation. Obviously, marijuana can make treatment of many cancer types more effective. Countless studies report, that marijuana can become an alternative to even cure cancer with less intoxication and fewer side effects. How many people can feel better and be treated more effectively with medical marijuana! If you want medical marijuana to help you, consult with a doctor who works with it. This information is given only for consideration. A patient should consult a doctor to decide on the treatment.