The stage of the disease upon diagnosis plays a significant factor in the mortality rate, but the grim prognosis is typically only 50% survival rate within five years after being diagnosed, although early detection often allows for an increased, 90% survival rate. “Ovarian cancer is when abnormal cells in the ovary begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way. They eventually form a growth (tumor). If not caught early, cancer cells gradually grow into the surrounding tissues and may spread to other areas of the body.”
What are early warning signs of ovarian cancer?
- feeling full quickly
- loss of appetite
- pain in your tummy (abdomen) or lower part of your abdomen that doesn’t go away
- bloating or an increase in the size of your abdomen
- needing to wee more often
According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) if you experience those symptoms 12 or more times per month, especially if you’re over the age of 50, it’s imperative to get tests for a proper diagnosis, as early detection saves lives.
Globally, ovarian cancer survival rates are low and significantly worse in low-resource regions. In these areas, incidence and mortality are expected to disproportionately double by 2040. Take into consideration that if there’s a chance that cannabis can cure cancer by killing cancer cells upon contact, wouldn’t it make sense to provide poverty-stricken women legal access to medical marijuana as a possible front-line treatment?
“The high mortality rate means hundreds of thousands of women die each year. If nothing changes, based on the number of deaths in 2020 alone, by 2040 there will be 4,145,040 women missing from our lives – from the dinner table, from celebrations, from holidays. This number of women who will die of ovarian cancer is equivalent to the populations of Rome or Brasilia.”
Recent studies have focused on non‐psychoactive cannabinoids in ovarian cancer and have revealed promising pre‐clinical results that indicate that these compounds may have potential benefits in the treatment of these cancers.
A cannabis plant contains a vast array of nutraceuticals. These cannabinoids are often used by patients as an adjunct treatment for many types of cancer. Some of the most researched cannabinoids include cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabichromene CBC. Studies indicated that they may provide consistent relief for chronic pain, nausea, anxiety and insomnia, thus offering new hope for many of the patients that choose this CAM.
What methods are used as ways to manage the side effects of cancer with cannabinoids?
It’s undocumented how many women turn to medical marijuana or other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), but there are reports of increased survival rates with use of the cannabinoid CBD. In one such case, a patient combined CBD oil with apricot oil, which contains amygdalin, a plant substance found in raw nuts, bitter almonds, apricot and cherry seeds. This elderly woman had been diagnosed with metastatic low-grade serous ovarian carcinoma, a type of ovarian cancer that is rare and typically unresponsive to traditional cancer treatment. She elected to have surgery, but dismissed the option of chemotherapy. Within a year, doctors were amazed that her ovarian cancer was virtually cured. “Cannabinoid receptors are potential therapeutic targets in ovarian cancer,” thus our body works synergistically with the cannabinoids found in medical marijuana, providing a beacon of light for those who are suffering from this life-threatening disease.