Cannabis Use & Testicular Cancer: What Men Need to Know
It is estimated that between 8,000 to 10,000 men will develop testicular cancer each year, making the chance of developing this type of cancer about one in 270. Fortunately, the cure rate is greater than 95 percent for all men with testis cancer. [A]
While only about 400 men will die from testicular cancer each year, it is still a debilitating condition that can cause a lot of complications. Medical Marijuana is a great option for those suffering from those issues caused by both testicular cancer and its treatments. If you are curious to see if you qualify for a Florida Medical Marijuana Card, this questionnaire will tell you if you pre-qualify instantly.
There are over 500,000 patients statewide who are utilizing medical marijuana products to help manage their day to day debilitating conditions. DocMJ’s team of Qualified Florida Medical Marijuana Doctors are conveniently located throughout the state to ensure accessible care for their patients. To book an risk-free exam with one of our MMJ Physicians, click here. If it is determined that you do not qualify per state guidelines you will be issued a refund in full at the end of your appointment.
How Marijuana Can Be an Effective Addition to Treatment for Testicular Cancer
While there is a study that links marijuana to testicular cancer, there are no conclusions made nor does it demonstrate a cause-and-effect relationship. There are other studies showcasing that using cannabis in addition to testicular cancer treatment helps increase one’s appetite while reducing pain and nausea associated with the traditional treatments.
Scientists at the University of East Anglia have shown how delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component in cannabis, can reduce the growth of tumors in cancer patients. Published research shows the existence of earlier signaling platforms responsible for the success of the drug in shrinking tumors. The scientists found there were a few particular cell receptors that caused the anti-tumor effects of the drug; however, they could not determine which of the receptors caused THC’s anti-tumor effects.
Testicular Cancer & Medical Marijuana Research
In addition to THC, the other components in marijuana could protect against certain types of cancer, including those in the testes. In this two-year preclinical study, researchers tested the effects of THC on tumors in rats and mice. The subjects were tube-fed the cannabinoid in various doses and their tumors were observed.
It was found that the THC could reduce both benign and cancerous tumors throughout the body. Higher amounts of THC were linked with lower appearances of malignant liver cells. In other areas, fewer benign tumors appeared and benign tumors in the testes also occurred less.
While there are other studies published that argue marijuana increases the risk of testicular cancer, they are not necessarily reliable. Three studies examined the link between cannabis and testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs). Each study found a connection between marijuana use and an increased risk of TGCTs; however, none of these studies had large enough sample sizes to show the effects of different cannabis doses.[B]
So… What Exactly is Testicular Cancer?
Testicular cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in males testicles (testes), which are located inside the scrotum, a loose bag of skin underneath the penis. The testicles produce male sex hormones and sperm for reproduction. [C]
In comparison to other types of cancer, testicular cancer is rare; however, it is the most common cancer in American males between the ages of 15 and 35.[C]
Types of Testicular Cancer
The testicles consist of many different types of cells. Each of these cells can develop into various types of cancer. Since each cancer is treated in a unique way and has a different prognosis, it is important to determine the exact type of testicular cancer in order to see the best results.
Germ Cell Tumors
Over 90 percent of testicular cancers develop in special cells called germ cells. [D] These cells are also the ones that produce sperm. The two main types of germ cell tumors (GCTs) that can develop in men are:
- Non-seminomas (consist of yolk sac carcinoma, embryonal carcinoma, teratoma or choriocarcinoma)
Both of these GCTs are diagnosed at about an equal rate and may contain both of the abovementioned cells. The mixed GCTs are treated as non-seminomas as they grow and spread similarly to non-seminomas moreso than seminomas.
Of the two, seminomas usually spread more gradually than non-seminomas. The two primary subtypes of these tumors are spermatocytic seminomas and typical, or classical, seminomas.
- Classical Seminoma: More than 95 percent of seminomas end up being classical. [D] With men between the ages 25 and 45 being more prone to developing this type of GCT.
- Spermatocytic Seminoma: Spermatocytic tumors grow more gradually than classical seminomas and aren’t as likely to spread to other areas of your body.This type is rare and often occurs in older men. Men are typically around 65 years of age when receiving a spermatocytic seminoma diagnosis.[D]
These types of GCTs typically occur in men between their late teen years through their early thirties. There are four primary types of non-seminoma tumors:
- Yolk sac carcinoma
- Embryonal carcinoma
Traditional Testicular Cancer Treatments
When it comes to cancer care, there is usually a multidisciplinary team of different doctors who work together to create a patient’s treatment plan. For testicular cancer, the multidisciplinary team consists of a urologist and a medical oncologist. A medical oncologist is a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with medication. In some cases, patients may also benefit from seeing a radiation oncologist who specializes in giving radiation therapy to treat cancer.
Treatment options and recommendations depend on several factors, including the type and stage of cancer, possible side effects, and the patient’s preferences and overall health. The first treatment for testicular cancer is usually removing the testicle through surgery. While chemotherapy can be given first if the cancer has already spread beyond the testicle when diagnosed, this method is typically avoided.
After surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be recommended. Germ cell tumors are highly sensitive to chemotherapy and are usually curable even if the cancer has spread. Radiation therapy may be recommended to treat early-stage seminoma or cancer that has spread to the brain.
Managing Symptoms of Testicular Cancer with MMJ
Medical cannabis for testicular cancer has shown to be beneficial for improving a patient’s well-being. Additionally, it can often aid those who are battling the adverse reactions of the traditional treatments of testicular cancer. Both chemotherapy and radiation can help manage these side effects of chemotherapy and radiation:
- Lack of appetite
- Extreme body pain
- Chronic fatigue
Testicular cancer is a specific type of cancer that tends to affect between 8,000 to 10,000 men each year. [A] This is considered the most common type of cancer found in males between the ages of fifteen and forty years old. Medical marijuana has been a proven treatment to reduce the symptoms of chemotherapy in cancer patients worldwide.
Data collected on 748 patients who smoked cannabis before or after their chemo and 345 patients who took an oral THC tablet showed that patients who smoked the marijuana experienced up to 100 percent nausea and vomiting relief. [E] Those patients who took the THC tablet. however, only experienced up to 88 percent relief.[E]
Getting a Florida Medical Marijuana Card
In order to be able to legally purchase and use medical marijuana products in Florida, you must first have qualified for a Medical Marijuana Card. A Qualified Patient Must:[F]
- Be a permanent or seasonal Florida resident
- Be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition by a qualified physician
- Be entered into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry
- Obtain a Medical Marijuana Use Registry Identification Card
While cancer is a condition that makes you eligible for a Florida Medical Marijuana Card, there are other conditions that can also qualify a person. The additional Qualifying Medical Conditions are:[F]
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to the others listed.
- A terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the qualified physician issuing the physician certification.
- Chronic nonmalignant pain caused by a qualifying medical condition or that originates from a qualifying medical condition and persists beyond the usual course of that qualifying medical condition.
If after reading the above you are still unsure if you qualify for your Florida medical marijuana card, this survey will tell you if you could be eligible. To take the next step, book a risk-free appointment with a qualified Florida Medical Marijuana Physician. If at the end of your appointment it is determined that you are not eligible per state guidelines, you will be issued a full refund. At the end of your appointment, you must apply for a Florida Medical Marijuana Card through the Office of Medical Marijuana Use. This typically takes around 2 weeks to process and once approved you are able to purchase medical marijuana products for a state-licensed dispensary location.