In case you missed it, check out this round up of some of the stories making headlines in June…
- Apple Watch will now be able to monitor PD: Tech developers announced this month that the Apple Watch will now be able to track two common PD symptoms — tremors and dyskinesia — and map them out in graphs to help doctors (and patients) with PD monitoring. Fill me in.
- Study points to an “overlooked driver” of PD — Bacteriophages: What are bacteriophages or “phages”? Viruses that infect bacteria. New research shows that people with PD may have an overabundance of phages that kill “good” bacteria in the microbiome or gut, which could mean a new target for treating PD. More on the study.
- How common are cognitive issues with lupus? Very. A doctor specializing in lupus research says nearly 40% of people with SLE have some level of cognitive impairment, such as trouble with attention, recall and concentration — so doctors should monitor it early and often. Read his Q&A.
- Drug may replace chemo as initial treatment for many with NSCLC: New clinical trial results of the immunotherapy drug Keytruda show that it can be a more effective first treatment than chemotherapy for many patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) — even those with low levels of the PD-L1 gene mutation. Tell me more.
- VETS Act expands access to telehealth: Late last month, Congress passed the VETS Act, expanding access to telehealth for more than 20 million veterans, including 30,000 living with MS. Get the full story.
- Now enrolling: Nationwide clinical trial: Researchers at John’s Hopkins University are seeking newly diagnosed or untreated patients living with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) to participate in a study to help inform treatment decisions. Learn more.
- Practices for overcoming trauma: Results from a new study found that women who combined meditation with aerobic exercise had far fewer trauma-related thoughts, and saw an uptick in feelings of self worth. Get the full story
- When antidepressants won’t work: “I knew it wasn’t going to be a magical Cinderella transformation, but I definitely feel like a newer person.” Read one man’s experience with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) after first-line treatments didn’t work. More info.
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- Filed Under: Bipolar disorder, Cancer, Conditions, Depression, lupus, Mood Conditions, Multiple Sclerosis, Openness, Parkinson's Disease, PTSD
- Tags: active clinical trials, apple watch, clinical trial, cognitive impairment, immunotherapy, lung cancer, lupus community, mental health community, multiple sclerosis, new study, Parkinson's Community, PD symptoms, Telehealth
Medical marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD) are getting a lot of media coverage — so what’s the latest, as it relates to lung cancer?
See two recent high-profile articles that weigh the possible risks and benefits of cannabis for cancer and respiratory disease. And add your perspective.
(Psst, checkout past PatientsLikeMe write-ups on medical marijuana and CBD for some background.)
Risk factor or treatment?
Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report published an article called “Is Marijuana a Risk Factor or a Treatment Option for Lung Cancer?”
Some key points?
- Marijuana smoke has many of the same toxins as cigarette smoke, so it could harm the lungs. But the doctors and researchers behind a 2017 report say they have not found conclusive evidence showing that smoking cannabis causes lung cancer (some doctors note that it’s difficult to study because many who’ve smoked marijuana have also smoked tobacco, and there are fewer people who are heavy or habitual cannabis users).
- The 2017 report did show a “slightly higher chance of having adenocarcinoma if you were a habitual [marijuana] smoker than if you were not or a never-user,” but the evidence was still “weak” and not statistically significant, according to doctors involved in the report.
- Some research (including this 2018 study in the European Journal of Internal Medicine) has shown that cannabis can have a positive effect on symptoms many people undergoing cancer treatment experience, including pain, nausea, sleep problems and decreased appetite. There’s relatively little research in the U.S. on the effects of medical cannabis because it’s still illegal at the federal level and hard to obtain for studies, even in states with medical marijuana laws and CBD laws.
- The American Cancer Society reminds people that “relying on marijuana alone as treatment while avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer may have serious health consequences.
Another closeup on cannabis
The New York Times also did a deep dive on medical marijuana risks vs. benefits this spring with their article called “It’s Time for a New Discussion of Marijuana’s Risks.”
What are some takeaways related to lung health?
- Citing a 2005 study, The Times says, “No association was found between smoking marijuana and lung cancer.”
- Although lung function (in the general population) may actually improve in the short term after smoking cannabis, a long-term look shows that chronic marijuana smoking may harm lung function, research shows.
- Although marijuana may not have a strong link to cancer, check out the full article for other considerations, such as some increased risks when it comes to certain mental health conditions, short-term memory loss and impaired driving.
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Some PatientsLikeMe members with lung cancer have included cannabis and cannabidiol/CBD on their profile as treatments they’ve tried. Logged-in members can see what others have said in the forum about:
Anything to add based on your own experiences? Add a comment below or join the conversation on this topic with others living with lung cancer.
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- Filed Under: Cancer, Conditions, Openness, Research
- Tags: Benefits, cannabis, CBD laws, CBD oil, drug research, lung cancer, marijuana, marijuana research, medical marijuana, Risks, weed