Cannabis for Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the lining of the internal organs, known as the mesothelium. Most of the common organs affected by mesothelioma are the lungs or abdomen. Around 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma annually in the United States, although it’s 4 times more common in men.
There are different kinds of mesothelioma, primarily classified by the location in the body where tumors develop. It can also be classified according to the cell structure the cancer may have, such as epitheliod, sarcomatoid, or biphasic. The rarest case of this cancer occurs around the heart, because asbestos fibers can end up stuck in the pericardium, which si the lining that forms around the heart cavity.
Symptoms of mesothelioma include chest pain, trouble breathing, vomiting, nausea, unexplained weight loss, fluid buildup in the lungs or abdomen, or anemia (which is more common in women). Mesothelioma is typically diagnosed at a late stage and because of its aggressive nature often has a poor prognosis.
How Cannabis Helped A Mesothelioma Patient
There are limited studies on how cannabis can help patients with mesothelioma, but one case stands out among the rest. The story of Andy Ashcraft tells us how he used cannabis oil to survive mesothelioma. A native Californian, Andy was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2010 and his doctors told him he only had 3 months left.
Following the diagnosis, Ashcraft participated n a clinical trial of amatuximab, an antibody for mesothelin-expressing cancers such as mesothelioma. He took the medicine for three years including regular chemotherapy session but it didn’t work for him. Gallons of fluid began accumulating in his abdomen and he was then removed from the trial. According to his wife, Ashcraft’s stomach was so large that it resembled that of a pregnant woman. Things didn’t look up, and his wife Ruth began researching for other alternative methods.
She came across cannabis oil and how effective it was in treating cancer. Ashcraft started taking small doses of the oil, which he was able to get thanks to the California Medical Marijuana Program back in January 2013. After a few months he began using other kinds of natural oils to strengthen his immune system and prevent the mesothelioma from spreading. In September 2014, doctors removed a large mesothelioma tumor found in his abdominal wall, after which the cancer had officially stopped.
Why Cannabis Kills Cancer
Most studies surrounding cancer and cannabis are focused on more common types of cancer. However, the efficacy of cannabis in treating and preventing cancer growth is undeniable. Cannabis works in different ways to kill cancer cells:
- Cannabis stops the proliferation of cancer cells in its tracks. Cancer cells won’t die on their own; by nature they will divide and spread throughout the body eventually causing a tumor. Cannabis contains THC and CBD, both of which have been shown to have antiproliferative effects on cancer cells. Using cannabinoid treatment has been shown to successfully half the growth of tumors in cellular and animal models.
- Cannabis causes cancer cell death. Research shows that THC and CBD enable programmed cell death (aptosis) in many forms of cancer.
- Cannabis has anti-metastatic properties. Cancer cells can break off tumors and travel in the bloodstream, spreading in different parts of the body. Once cancers become metastatic, they become much more difficult to treat and prognosis becomes poor. Studies show that in both animal and cellular models, THC and CBD possess valuable anti-metastatic properties. The laboratory evidence tells us that cannabis possesses properties that can help prevent cancers from spreading, which is particularly important in aggressive cancers such as mesothelioma.
- Cannabis starves cancer cells. Tumors can only grow by developing its own blood vessels where it obtains oxygen and other nutrients from other parts of the body. This process is called angiogenesis. Studies show that both THC and CBD can stop tumors from developing its own blood vessels. This prevents the tumor from siphoning nutrition from the body that would allow it to grow and spread.
What Worked For Andy
Andy doesn’t attribute his survival to cannabis alone; the cancer, as well as other forms of cancers, ideally are part of a holistic natural and healthy regimen to successfully kill cancer cells. He started taking doses of cannabis oil smaller than half a grain of rice but his routine also includes fish oil and other natural oils, essential oils including lavender, frankincense, sandalwood, clove, thyme, and more.
Do you know someone who has used cannabis to help treat mesothelioma? Share with us in the comments below!