Does Secondhand Smoke Cause Cancer
Yes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. National Toxicology Program, the U.S. Surgeon General, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer have all classified secondhand smoke as a known human carcinogen . In addition, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has concluded that secondhand smoke is an occupational carcinogen .
The Surgeon General estimates that, during 2005-2009, secondhand smoke exposure caused more than 7,300 lung cancer deaths among adult nonsmokers each year .
Some research also suggests that secondhand smoke may increase the risk of breast cancer, nasal sinus cavity cancer, and nasopharyngeal cancer in adults and the risk of leukemia, lymphoma, and brain tumors in children . Additional research is needed to determine whether a link exists between secondhand smoke exposure and these cancers.
Many Breast Cancer Patients Use Cannabis But Rely On Friends And The Internet Rather Than Doctors For Information
New research from Breastcancer.org by an adjunct investigator of the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research indicates almost half of Americans with breast cancer use cannabis , most commonly during cancer treatment to manage symptoms including pain and anxiety. However, most patients rely on the internet and friends for information rather than consulting a physician.
The findings were published today in Cancer, a leading peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. , a leading figure in the breast cancer community as founder and chief medical officer of Breastcancer.org, was lead author and co-principal investigator. In addition to her affiliation with LIMR, Dr. Weiss is also an affiliated radiation oncologist with Lankenau Medical Center, both part of Main Line Health.
The study is based on an anonymous online survey to examine cannabis use among adults diagnosed with breast cancer within five years and were members of the Breastcancer.org and Healthline.com online health communities.
Breast cancer patients often turn to cannabis when other treatments fail to provide relief. But they often go to online sources and friends for information rather than physicians.
Many physicians, furthermore, feel they lack the knowledge to discuss cannabis with their patients, with 7 in 10 reporting in a previous national survey that they felt unprepared to make clinical recommendations.
Among the major findings:
Experts Advise Monthly Self
Women are putting their health at risk by failing to check their breasts for signs of cancer.
Experts recommend women carry out self-checks every month to feel for lumps or changes that could be a sign of the disease.
Yet one in four women admitted they had either never carried out their own examinations or could not remember the last time they had, a survey found.
Almost four in ten said they would delay going to see a doctor for medical help if faced with a symptom because of embarrassment or difficulties getting an appointment, according to the survey by private health firms BUPA and HCA Healthcare.
Last night charities described the findings as worrying, adding that early diagnosis was key to surviving breast cancer.
Eluned Hughes, of Breast Cancer Now, said: The earlier breast cancer is detected, the more likely treatment is to be successful. Its vital that all women are supported to know the signs and symptoms to look out for, like a lump, changes to the nipple, or dimpled skin and to visit their doctor straight away if theyre concerned about any changes to their breasts.
Latest figures show 90 per cent of women diagnosed can now expect to survive for a year unless they are diagnosed at stage 4, when the survival rate drops considerably to 66 per cent.
Yet 23% of the 2,000 women surveyed said they would wait for up to two weeks and one in ten would wait for up to a month before seeing a doctor.
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Side Effects And Safety Of Medical Cannabis
Information on cannabis side effects is limited because research on medical cannabis in people with cancer is limited. Side effects are also likely to vary depending on the dose you take and the amounts and combinations of THC and CBD in each product.
Reported side effects of marijuana, which has THC, include:
- increased heart rate
CBD is usually well-tolerated, but reported side effects include:
- drowsiness and fatigue
- reduced appetite
Its not well understood how cannabis products may interact with other medicines, including cancer therapies. Thats why its important to talk to your doctor about using medical cannabis both before and during treatment. Working together, you can come up with the best way to relieve your symptoms.
The medicines and therapies you use can interact with each other. They may meet up and cause no effect, a beneficial effect, or a harmful effect, said Marisa Weiss, M.D., founder and chief medical officer of Breastcancer.org and director of breast radiation oncology at Lankenau Medical Center. For example, a helpful effect is when cannabis reduces nausea from chemotherapy. But a harmful effect can happen if cannabis interferes with the benefit of chemotherapy or increases the risk of lung damage during radiation and chemotherapy if cannabis is smoked or vaped.
Combining Alcohol And Tobacco
While both tobacco and alcohol individually raise cancer risk, smoking and drinking in combination heightens the risk exponentially. This is especially true for cancers of the:
- Oral cavity.
According to the American Cancer Society, alcohol functions as a solvent that enables other harmful toxins like tobacco smoke to more easily enter the cells in the upper digestive tract. This has been discussed as a possible explanation for why drinking and smoking in combination appears to significantly raise the risk of mouth and throat cancers. Additionally, alcohol makes it more difficult for the body to rid itself of certain toxins 6.
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Not All Estrogens Are Bad
Let me not vilify all estrogens, as they are not the same. There are 16 forms of estrogens but todays science has only gone deeper into understanding three estrogens: estrone , estradiol and estriol . Out of these three, estradiol tends to be the most aggressive estrogen that has been linked to breast cancer multiplication. In fact, estriol is a protective estrogen that is often prescribed for women with estrogen dominance.
Another thing I need you to know is that it is also certain metabolites that are broken down in the liver that can be antagonistic. In fact, one of the breast cancer risk tests used is a blood test called 2:16 hydroxy-estrone which measures the relationship between estrones metabolites to determine the risk factor. In my practice, I like to look at three markers to identify the risk factor of a women :
The first test can be ordered by your physician, while you can order the saliva test online from Canary Club. The urine tests need to be ordered by an integrative physician, one of whom you can find near you from the listing here .
Stefanie Larue: Cannabis Treatment & Breast Cancer Survival
In 2005, Stefanie discovered a lump in one of her breasts, she was only 30 years old.
Initially she was misdiagnosed by three different doctors and was told that she was too young for breast cancer.
Stefanie was treated with prescribed antibiotics, which failed to have any effect, so by the time she was tested and correctly diagnosed, the cancer had spread to her bones.
Doctors diagnosed her with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer, meaning the cancer had spread beyond the breast to other organs in the body. There is no stage 5. The prognosis she was given predicted one year to live, at most.
With help from her oncologist at UCLA, Stefanie learned to make changes to her diet, use natural supplements and work on personal fitness all of which are integrative and complementary treatments alongside chemotherapy. After six chemotherapy treatments, Stefanie had surgery to remove the cancer which removed all of her breast tissue.
Android phone? Best viewed in landscape.
In 2013 Stefanie had a Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery and the results indicated her third re occurrence of cancer. The chemo sensitivity testing concluded there were five lines of chemo treatments that could work on the tumours.
I did my homework. I researched as much as I could. I watched. I listened. I read. I contacted. I prayed. Most of all, I believed. I weighed my options, which were essentially chemotherapy or cannabis oil, and I decided to take the natural route this time.
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Important Notes About Medical Marijuana
Open and honest communication about any symptoms or pain can help your health care team to determine if medical marijuana or FDA-approved cannabinoid medication is a treatment option for you. Registered doctors and nurse practitioners can certify you to receive medical marijuana if they think it can be beneficial and is available in your area.
There are some vital considerations when it comes to marijuana use:
Each state has different laws dictating the legality of medical marijuana, including qualifying conditions and dispensing of medical marijuana. Medical marijuana and patient ID cards should not be used or transported out of state, given that the legal status of marijuana varies state to state. For up-to-date state and federal laws, visit .
Danger of smoking marijuana. Smoking marijuana allows active cannabinoids to enter the bloodstream directly through the lungs, but smoking has other health risks, similar to smoking cigarettes. Pills/capsules, edibles, vapes, oils, drops, topical creams or sprays are some of the alternative means of using medical marijuana. Their availability varies state to state.
Other marijuana side effects. Side effects include sleepiness, mood changes, decreased blood pressure and changes in heart rate. This can vary from person to person and should be discussed with your health care team.
But It Worked For This Patient
Doctors sometimes publish case reports about extraordinary or important observations they have seen in their clinic. For example, there is a of a 14-year old girl from Canada who was treated with cannabis extracts . But very little reliable information can be taken from a single patient treated with whats an unknown mix of cannabinoids outside of a controlled clinical setting.
There are also many videos and anecdotes online claiming that people have been completely cured of cancer with cannabis, hemp/cannabis oil or other cannabis derivatives.
Despite what these sources may claim, its impossible to tell whether these patients have been cured by cannabis or not. There is usually no information about their medical diagnosis, stage of disease, what other cancer treatments they had, or the chemical make-up of their treatment. These sources also only publish the success stories, and dont share how many people who used cannabis or its derivatives had no benefit, or worse, were potentially harmed.
Robust scientific studies describe the detail of experiments and share the results positive or negative. This is vital for working out whether a potential cancer treatment is truly safe and effective, or not. And publishing this data allows doctors around the world to judge the information for themselves and use it for the benefit and safety of their patients.
This is the standard to which all cancer treatments are held, and its one that cannabinoids should be held to, too.
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What Is Being Done To Reduce Nonsmokers Exposure To Secondhand Smoke
On the federal level, several policies restricting smoking in public places have been implemented. Federal law prohibits smoking on airline flights, interstate buses, and most trains. Smoking is also prohibited in most federal buildings by Executive Order 13058 of 1997. The Pro-Children Act of 1994 prohibits smoking in facilities that routinely provide federally funded services to children. The Department of Housing and Urban Development published a final rule in December 2016, which was fully implemented in July 2018, that prohibits the use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and hookah in public housing authorities, including all living units, indoor common areas, and administrative offices, as well as outdoor areas within 25 feet of buildings.
Many state and local governments have enacted laws that prohibit smoking in workplaces and public places, including restaurants, bars, schools, hospitals, airports, bus terminals, parks, and beaches. These smokefree policies have substantially decreased exposure to secondhand smoke in many U.S. workplaces . More than half of all states have implemented comprehensive smokefree laws that prohibit smoking in indoor areas of workplaces, restaurants, and bars, and some states and communities also have enacted laws regulating smoking in multi-unit housing and cars . The American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation provides a list of state and local smokefree air policies.
Side Effects Of Cannabinoid Drugs
Like many other drugs, the prescription cannabinoids, dronabinol and nabilone, can cause side effects and complications.
Some people have trouble with increased heart rate, decreased blood pressure , dizziness or lightheadedness, and fainting. These drugs can cause drowsiness as well as mood changes or a feeling of being high that some people find uncomfortable. They can also worsen depression, mania, or other mental illness. Some patients taking nabilone in studies reported hallucinations. The drugs may increase some effects of sedatives, sleeping pills, or alcohol, such as sleepiness and poor coordination. Patients have also reported problems with dry mouth and trouble with recent memory.
Older patients may have more problems with side effects and are usually started on lower doses.
People who have had emotional illnesses, paranoia, or hallucinations may find their symptoms are worse when taking cannabinoid drugs.
Talk to your doctor about what you should expect when taking one of these drugs. Its a good idea to have someone with you when you first start taking one of these drugs and after any dose changes.
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How Is Secondhand Smoke Exposure Measured
Secondhand smoke exposure can be measured by testing indoor air for respirable suspended particles or individual chemicals such as nicotine or other harmful and potentially harmful constituents of tobacco smoke .
Exposure to secondhand smoke can also be evaluated by measuring the level of biomarkers such as cotinine in a nonsmokers blood, saliva, or urine . Nicotine, cotinine, and other chemicals present in secondhand smoke have been found in the body fluids of nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke.
Does Smoking Cause Breast Cancer
What are the statistics of breast cancer in women who smoke? I am 30 years old.
Andrew Weil, M.D. | October 4, 2005
Smoking is not considered a major risk for breast cancer, and overall, it may present no risk at all. But some studies have suggested that smoking may increase the risk of breast cancer in certain women. A study published in the November 18, 2002, issue of the British Journal of Cancer analyzed data from 53 epidemiological studies, including 58,515 women with breast cancer and 95,067 women who did not have breast cancer. It concluded that smoking had little or no independent effect on the incidence of breast cancer. But there appear to be some exceptions:
Whatever your personal risk of breast cancer, please bear in mind that lung cancer will kill 68,510 American women this year, more than breast and ovarian cancer combined. You also should know that almost 90 percent of all lung cancer that occurs in women is caused by smoking, and that women are 1.5 times more likely to develop lung cancer than men are. And dont forget that smoking also increases your risk of heart disease, the number-one killer of women.
Andrew Weil, M.D.
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Signs Of Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen can be metabolized in your body in different ways. Some pathways lead to estrogen metabolites that can compromise your health. This can be a particular problem if your liver is not functioning well. Then your liver doesnt process estrogen metabolites and help remove them from your body, and you end up with more estrogen circulating, causing havoc and estrogen excess.
ED can mean one of two things: you either have too much estradiol in relation to progesterone, or an imbalance in your estrogen metabolites .
This can lead to the following symptoms:
- Worsening PMS
- Lumpy, painful or swollen breasts
- Weight gain, particularly around the hips
Cannabis Treatment For Breast Cancer
Cannabinoids and their role in fighting breast cancer.
Despite ever increasing research and new drug trials certain breast tumours continue to be resistant to conventional treatments.
One study in mice and rats suggested that cannabinoids may have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumours. During this 2-year study, groups of mice and rats were given various doses of THC by gavage.
A dose-related decrease in the incidence of hepatic adenoma tumours and hepatocellular carcinoma was observed in the mice. Decreased incidences of benign tumours in other organs were also noted in the rats.
In another study, delta-9-THC, delta-8-THC, and cannabinol were found to inhibit the growth of Lewis lung adenocarcinoma cells in vitro and in vivo . In addition, other tumours have been shown to be sensitive to cannabinoid-induced growth inhibition.
Breast cancer is comprised of tumours that are distinct in their molecular profiles and these are categorized into five main intrinsic or molecular sub types that are based on the genes a cancer expresses:
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Are Cancer Charities Hiding Cannabis As A Cure
Weve blogged previously about how unjust this is to the thousands of scientists, doctors and nurses working as hard as they can to beat cancer, and to the many thousands of people in the UK and beyond who give up their time and money to fund our work.
History shows that the best way to beat cancer is through rigorous scientific research. This approach has helped to change the face of cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, leading to survival doubling over the past 40 years.
As a research-based organisation, we want to see reliable scientific evidence to support claims made about any cancer treatment, be it conventional or alternative. This is vital because lives are at stake. Some people may think that a cancer patient has nothing to lose by trying an alternative treatment, but there are big risks.