August 2008 - Studies are added to this section all the time, just scroll down.
In March 1999, the Institute of Medicine issued a report stating that THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) is useful for treating cancer pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and poor appetite/wasting. According to a MAMM magazine article published in their Nov/Dec 1999 issue, 21% of patients do not get relief from any of the anti-nausea drugs available (and there are now quite a few). In one small study 78% of that group did get relief from "smokable" marijuana.
You can check out MAMM magazine at www.mamm.com The magazine is subtitled Women, Cancer and Community.
Studies have indicated that acupuncture can reduce pain, including chronic pain.
Alpha Lipoic Acid haws been indicated for use in dealing with nerve death-neuropathy. This can be caused by the taxols used in chemotherapy and is becoming quite a problem for patients who have been through this type of regimen.
Since this is a non toxic anti oxidant, it may be worth trying. Several studies have used alpha lipoic acid with diabetics at intravenous doses of 200 mgs and 600 mgs.
Ann's NOTE: As always, you must start at a low dosage and work your way up to see if you have a negative reaction (reminder-that may include headache, dizziness, stomach upset, etc).
You can find some other ideas under the Treatment section, entititled Tips and Techniques (surgery, etc.)
From the April 2005 journal Seminars in Oncology Online (April 2005 • Volume 32 • Number 2):
"Increasing attention is being paid to the emotional and psychosocial needs of cancer patients. As a result of huge advances in early detection and in treatment modalities, there now are millions of cancer survivors in the United States.
There has been a realization that cancer survivors have distinct psychosocial needs. As cancer survivors live longer, reduction of psychological distress has been recognized as being an important part of having an improved quality of life.
There have been numerous changes in the field of psychosocial oncology since it first began 25 years ago. Guidelines now exist for the definition of distress, and decision trees are available for making the appropriate referrals.
Advances in pharmacologic treatment for depression and anxiety have made it possible to decrease distress and increase coping in cancer patients undergoing treatment as well as in cancer survivors.
Numerous individual and group therapies have demonstrated effectiveness in improving mood and quality of life in cancer patients and those at high risk for developing cancer. Due to the forthright efforts of cancer patients, there are now many organizations and list serves (e-mailing lists) that cancer survivors can turn to for help before, during, and after cancer treatment.
Finally, with the rapid expansion of the internet not only are there websites available as resources, but also the creation of interactive online support is becoming a reality.
One of the most important issues in providing supportive care to cancer patients in the future is to meet the individual needs of patients and provide the type of psychological therapy that will work best for them",
Kathryn M. Kash *
Elisabeth J.S. Kunkel
Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
*Address reprint requests to Kathryn M. Kash, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Thomas Jefferson University, 833 Chestnut East-Suite 210, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Email address: email@example.com (Kathryn M. Kash)