Risks

Marijuana/lung cancer: New reporting on potential risks/benefits of cannabis

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?” reported by online CBD resource CAHI. 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). However, if it turns out that smoking cannabis isn’t as bad for your health as people first thought, then it comes as no surprise to find out that you can easily buy it online on sites like firethc. The 2017 report did …

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Communicating drug risks/benefits so the message really gets through

Last month, Jim, a member of the PatientsLikeMe Team of Advisors, was invited by Sally Okun, PatientsLikeMe’s VP Advocacy, Policy & Patient Safety, to present at the Drug Information Association (DIA) Pharmacovigilance Conference. He also led a lunch roundtable for drug risk/benefit communications experts. Sally, who also participated on the roundtable panel, says requests for patients to participate in events and meetings such as this are increasing: “There’s a lot of interest from the pharmaceutical industry and regulators to hear directly from patients about their experiences. Jim’s presentation was quite powerful and provided a perspective that most in the room had not heard before. The positive response from the audience reaffirmed the value of bringing the patient voice into the full lifecycle of drug development.” We asked Jim to share his experience (from the patient perspective) attending and presenting at the conference. In his own words: When it comes to treatment options, patients like us routinely face difficult treatment decisions such as: “Drug X can treat symptoms of your chronic condition and might improve your long-term prognosis. But, 5% of patients on Drug X experience serious side effects, and in rare cases, complications can be fatal.  So: is this a …

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