- What is ER PR Breast Cancer?
- How Marijuana Affects Cancer and Cancer Side Effects
- How Cannabis Interacts with Receptors in Breast Cancer
- How Marijuana Can Relieve ER PR Breast Cancer
- How Marijuana Can Relieve ER PR Negative Breast Cancer
- How to Treat Breast Cancer with Marijuana
- Why People with Breast Cancer are Choosing Cannabis as a Treatment
Whether the person being diagnosed is you or a loved one, the term breast cancer can be terrifying to hear. Learning more about the type of breast cancer you have can help you make better decisions about the therapies you use to win the fight against it. Considering marijuana as a treatment is one of the several possible therapies you can use. Marijuana has been proven to help individuals find relief from the side effects of cancer treatments, but it might also help treat the cancer itself.
What is ER PR Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer comes in several types, which differ in their aggressiveness, growth patterns, and receptor status. When an initial diagnosis of breast cancer is made, additional testing will be conducted to determine the type and stage of the cancer. During this testing, hormone receptors will be identified. ER and PR types of breast cancers are labeled depending on the receptors found in the cancer cells. ER refers to estrogen receptors and causes ER positive or negative breast cancer. PR refers to progesterone receptors and can be either PR positive or PR negative breast cancer. It is possible for both ER and PR to be positive or both to be negative. There can also be variations like ER positive PR negative breast cancer.
The cancer’s ER/PR Status  can make a difference in the treatments and therapies used. Breast cancers that test positive for estrogen receptors or with breast cancer PR positive, hormone therapy and hormone-blocking treatments may be useful in treating cancer. When estrogen or progesterone receptors are not present, hormone therapy is not effective. ER PR positive breast cancer treatment will include hormone therapy along with typical treatments like surgical intervention and chemotherapy. Hormone therapy can provide an edge in these cases, which is why breast cancers that are negative for hormone receptors like these are especially aggressive and difficult to treat. Patients who suffer from non-ER or PR breast cancer may be the most difficult to treat.
How Marijuana Affects Cancer and Cancer Side Effects
Marijuana has been used as a medical treatment throughout history, being used to treat physical, mental, and emotional illness with well-documented success. Recently its benefits as a treatment  for various types of cancer and cancer-related side effects has been explored. Some patients and medical professionals have shown very promising results when adding cannabis to their cancer treatment plans. This is because cannabis contains compounds like THC and CBD that have been shown  to help reduce tumor growth, inhibit the growth of cancerous cells, and reduce the spread or metastasis of cancer throughout the body. This is because the chemical compounds in marijuana, also called cannabinoids, work within the body to improve the function of certain systems like the neurological and immune system.
Marijuana and its related compounds have also been shown to help with the side effects associated with many common cancer treatments. It can help with the nausea and lack of appetite associated with chemotherapy and radiation treatments. It has also been shown to reduce pain and inflammation as well, which can help reduce discomfort associated with cancer and related therapies. Its pain-relieving capacity can help patients coping with painful tumors and post-surgical pain during recovery. Cannabis has also been linked to improving mood and reducing stress, which could make it easier to cope with the emotional effects of cancers like breast cancer.
How Cannabis Interacts with Receptors in Breast Cancer
To be useful in treating breast cancer, cannabis must improve its symptoms, destroy or inhibit the growth of cancer cells, or both. There is hope that marijuana can aid in both ways to truly relieve breast cancer. This is because cannabis may be able to interact with receptors in breast cancer. According to Cancer.gov , research shows that cannabinoids can activate receptors in various parts of the body. This means it could be useful in triggering or turning off certain bodily functions, like the production of cancerous cells. Reported research on their site also shows that cannabis has been proven effective in symptom relief, including being recognized for relieving side effects like nausea, vomiting, and pain.
Cannabis is not only effective at treating symptoms and complaints associated with breast cancer. Marijuana may also be able to aid in the treatment of specific types of breast cancer, including ER PR breast cancer and ER PR negative breast cancer.
How Marijuana Can Relieve ER PR Breast Cancer
Marijuana may help treatbreast cancer. Both THC and CBD have been shown to inhibit tumor growth  and aid in restoring the natural cycle of cell death. This was true in cases of breast cancer with estrogen positive markers. In fact, marijuana makes an effective ER PR positive breast cancer treatment because the same studies have shown it has helped kill off estrogen receptor positive cell lines. This means that marijuana compounds can also help relieve ER positive PR negative breast cancer because cannabinoids can target estrogen receptors that are found in breast cancer cells.
How Marijuana Can Relieve ER PR Negative Breast Cancer
Cannabinoids are also effective when used to treat ER negative and PR negative breast cancer. The presence of estrogen receptor cells in breast cancer is not necessary for cannabis to reduce tumor growth. THC and CBD are capable of killing estrogen negative cells too. Cannabinoids can trigger cell death, reduce the amount of nutrients the tumor is capable of diverting from normal cells, and reduce the likelihood that breast cancer cells will spread by targeting non-estrogen receptors. The compounds in cannabis may effectively treat any type of breast cancer whether it is receptor positive or negative.
How to Treat Breast Cancer with Marijuana
When used as a treatment for cancers and side effects, marijuana can be inhaled or ingested. Current research indicates that inhalation is still one of the most effective ways to get the compounds into the bloodstream quickly. Pharmaceutical research has focused on isolating cannabinoid compounds and producing them synthetically. Currently, synthetic CBD and THC have been developed and are being tested in pill, liquid, and oral spray formats. At least three prescription drugs on the market in the U.S. today are made with marijuana compounds according to USA Roday . In states where medicinal or recreational marijuana has been legalized, the production of highly concentrated cannabis oils is also being conducted, and that oil is becoming a common therapy method.
As both receptor positive and receptor negative breast cancers have been shown to respond to treatments with medicinal marijuana, more and more research has been conducted to determine if it can be used to treat breast cancer. Some users have found treatment with a concentrated oil made of high-grade cannabis is an effective treatment when used post-surgery or in addition to treatments like chemotherapy. Proponents believe the only reason that cancer would not respond to cannabinoid treatments is that a high enough grade or dose was not being used. This oil version of ingested therapy is the most popular, but additional research must be done to determine which delivery method is most effective for treating breast cancer.
Why People with Breast Cancer are Choosing Cannabis as a Treatment
People are choosing marijuana as a medical treatment with increasing frequency as it becomes more acceptable. Although popularity may have something to do with why more individuals with breast cancer are trying cannabis, there are numerous benefits that make it a growing choice for breast cancer patients. The primary motivator behind many who choose to add cannabis to their treatment plan is its ability to reduce common side effects of other treatments. Marijuana can help improve mood, reduce stress, combat pain from tumor growth and surgery, improve appetite, and reduce nausea and vomiting associated with treatments like chemotherapy. This makes treatments easier to manage, allowing doctors to more aggressively attack the cancer.
The other reason so many breast cancer sufferers are trying cannabis as a treatment its recently documented ability to inhibit cancer cells. Even agressive breast cancers  have shown improvement when treated with marijuana. It can reduce cell growth, prevent tumors from diverting nutrients from healthy tissues, inhibit the spread of cancer, and trigger the death of cancerous cells. All while leaving surrounding healthy tissues unaffected. This is where cannabis treatments really differ from other common cancer therapies, which typically do harm to healthy tissues or disrupt other bodily systems. Marijuana attacks cancer cells while promoting overall health. This is why it is becoming a preferred treatment for breast cancer patients.
Although a breast cancer diagnosis can be devastating, advances in our knowledge and use of medicinal marijuana leaves some hope. Breast cancer may have estrogen and progesterone receptors or it may not. Determining if a patient has ER or PR breast cancer has been an important first step in developing a cancer treatment plan. Adding cannabis to your cancer treatment plan can provide some benefit regardless of if your cancer is ER/PR negative or if the breast cancer PR positive. Inhaling or ingesting marijuana as a cancer treatment can help with side effects or aid in reducing tumor size and spread. Because of its proven effectiveness, marijuana is being used by more and more breast cancer patients.
1. Web-site breastcanser.gov An article “Hormone Status”
2. Web-site cancer.gov An article “Cannabis PDQ”
3. Web-site cancer.gov An article “Cannabis PDQ” Section 7.
4. Web-site Live Saving Natural Cures and Natural Remedies An article “Cannabis oil as a breast cancer treatment estrogen positive.”
5. Web-site medicaljane.com An article “Cannabis may treat agressive forms of breat cancer” URL: https://www.medicaljane.com/2013/10/17/study-cannabis-may-treat-aggressive-forms-of-breast-cancer
6. Web-site usatoday.com An article “Three drugs that come from marijuana”
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