Posts Tagged oral cancer

A Surprise: Marijuana Doesn’t Cause Cancer!

Posted by on Monday, 9 December, 2013

 

Cute cartoon about smoking pot

MARIJUANA NOT A CARCINOGEN

Have you ever smoked a joint?Because those things aren’t exactly full of wonderful stuff.  There are a lot more cancer causing things in marijuana smoke than in cigarette smoke. And marijuana smoke causes pre-cancerous changes in bronchial tissue and leaves four times as much tar in the lungs as cigarettes.

Even worse. Pot smokers hold the smoke in their lungs four times longer.

So just how bad is marijuana for you?

SURPRISE!

That’s the thing. A study by Donald Tashkin, M.D., of the University of California in Los Angeles was a big surprise. For pot smokers – even heavy pot smokers – there was  no detectable cancer effect in the head, neck and lungs. None at all. None.

The study was an epidemiological study that looked at hundreds of cigarette and marijuana smokers. Dr. Tashkin speculates that maybe marijuana smoke is so potent that the cells that are affected are too damaged to even become cancerous cells. I hope you find that comforting. Other studies seem to show there’s something in marijuana that inhibits cancer.One shows its active ingredient cutting the growth of lung tumors in half.

What does MISTER ScienceAintSoBad think?

The result seems crazy. Maybe another study will refute this one. Or not. There were some studies that pointed to long term brain damage but they got upended too. Newer studies say no. Seriously. There isn’t much proof that this potentially bad thing is a bad thing.

If you’re a grown up, you can make your own call but don’t forget it’s not exactly legal most places, okay?

If you’re a kid, don’t be s-t-u-p-i-d. You don’t need this.

MISTER ScienceAintSoBad is surprised about all this. Maybe I missed something? Let me know, okay?

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The drawing is mine

And don’t forget the old saying “Better safe than high.”


Cancer Superweapons

Posted by on Tuesday, 10 November, 2009

X-ray_chest_cancer-copy-300x277

RadiationTherapy: A Life Worth Living

Cancer.

It seems so somebody-else-but-not-me.

And yet.. you’re the one in the back-flapper gown.

Crappy, expensive, uncomfortable, inconvenient, and, potentially deadly, cancer is just a THING now. It CAN take you down but, mostly, it’s a bunch of medicine that you’re not gonna like; you’ll still get to see your grandkids.

At least I hope so.

The five year survival rate shows that the  Odds are now with you for most cancers.

This jibes with my own experience. MISTER ScienceAintSoBad knows several people – quite a few, actually – who have had cancer. One of them succumbed (too early) at ninety. The others? All here. All fine.

My sister’s husband, R – a fine dad and an unbelievable grandad – had a nasty oral cancer.

Things looked bad.

But R went to Israel and took advantage of some experimental stuff.

I don’t want to minimize it. It was rough.

But the cancer’s long gone and R’s doing great.

His taste buds and salivary glands, however, are good and fried. He REMEMBERS what it’s like to enjoy food.

That’s about it.

It’s a side-effect of the radiation.

So.

Getting rid of cancer’s good. Reducing collateral damage is better.

New, more refined techniques, such as IMRT , which splits the high energy beam into hundreds of much smaller beams for finer control, and the Gamma Knife. which can even adjust to movements such as respiration or a beating heart are aimed at reducing the side effects of cancer survivors.

The newest weapons are a recognition that quality of life matters.