Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Aggressive brain tumor countered by cannabis

P.J., a 50-year-old man, was still enjoying motor-cycle riding and surfing when he began having right parietal headaches with increasing frequency and severity in the spring of 2003. Within three weeks from the onset of pain, P.J. saw his primary-care doctor, who advised OTC pain medications. A few weeks later the pain worsened and he began to drop things from his hands and slur his speech. On hearing this the doctor sent him to the ER for a brain scan. P.J. was found to have a large stage-4 brain tumor, subsequently diagnosed as a glioblastoma multiforme. P.J. got his brain surgery in July ’03 followed by radiation therapy; he was also referred to a study group at a major teaching hospital. Now, more than four years since his surgery,P.J. continues to improve despite the ominous prognosis with the diagnosis of glioblastoma multiforme. Untreated patients are found to live about three months from diagnosis. Treated patients have a median survival of 10-12 months. In the best case scenario people with this tumor are alive at 18 months and apparently very few are still alive after five years.

What’s different in P.J.’s case is that everyday he eats at least five cannabis capsules that he prepares for himself. The cannabis helps P.J. with his appetite and sense of well-being.

Of great interest is the fact that he has been seizure-free (with the help of medical marijuana) and there has been no recurrence of the tumor on his follow-up brain scans, MRI and PET scans (con-ducted three or four times per year since 2003). Just back from a road trip to visit family, P.J. is out riding his bicycle on the rural roads with increasing confidence and he has re-applied for his driver’s license

...But that all might be about to change. The state's four U.S. Attorneys are gamely trying to alter the broadly popular status quo with arrests and threats of prosecution and property seizure for landlords who rent to medical cannabis dispensaries, a campaign announced in a rare joint press conference in October. Medical marijuana advocates call it an "intense crackdown" and have launched a lawsuit claiming the federal attorneys' tactics violate California's tenth amendment rights.


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