Medical Marijuana as a Therapeutic Treatment for Pediatric Oncology Patients

Medical Marijuana as a Therapeutic Treatment for Pediatric Oncology Patients

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Author(s): Lindsay G. Hunt

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DOI: 10.18483/ijSci.860 323 884 33-36 Volume 4 - Nov 2015


In the United States, many children face the life threatening reality of cancer. As the second leading cause of death of children, 1,250 people younger than 15 years old are expected to die from cancer in 2015 alone 1 . Each year, pediatric cancer diagnoses make up less than 1% of all cancers diagnosed; regardless, 10, 380 children in the US will be diagnosed in 2015 1. Childhood cancers are generally not associated with environmental or lifestyle factors like some adult cancers. Instead, they are most commonly attributed to DNA mutations. Leukemia, central nervous system tumors, neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor, lymphoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, retinoblastoma and bone cancers are the most common childhood cancers 2. In adolescence, Hodgkin lymphoma, thyroid carcinoma, brain and central nervous system tumors and testicular germ cell tumors are the most common 2. Thankfully, medicine and oncology research continues to expand, improving the survival rate of the youngest victims. Survival forecasts predict that an average 80% of children with cancer will survive at least 5 years 1. However, with these vulnerable patients, questions and gaps in knowledge still remain. How can doctors treat these unpleasant symptoms effectively and with the fewest rate of negative consequences? With medical marijuana gaining popularity legality in several states, physicians and scientists are faced with the question: should medical marijuana be prescribed as a palliative or therapeutic treatment for pediatric oncology patients?


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International Journal of Sciences is Open Access Journal.
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.
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