Squeamish about Squamous-Cannabis Oil to the Rescue?

Posted by on May 14, 2022 in Cancer Treatments | 0 comments
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In my previous posts I offer alternatives to the destructive policies of the medical industrial complex to adequately respond to COVID-19. In my books I focus on alternatives to ineffective policies and practices of the mental health industry. Occasionally I have discussed alternatives to the standards of care in the cancer industry. A few months ago, cancer got personal for me. One day I happened to touch something on the back of my leg below the knee. It started bleeding, quite a bit. I decided this was something I should take to a professional. So, I did.

On March 15, I saw a dermatologist who looked at the lesion and told me it was some kind of skin cancer. He took a shave biopsy and sent it to a lab. It was a 1.6 cm squamous carcinoma. He said about 98% of them are usually slow growing and highly treatable. He said it would normally not present a long-term threat, but I should have it removed.

“Can you do it today?” I naively asked.

“No, this will require a special kind of surgery call Mohs surgery. You have a small amount of skin behind your leg. Therefore, you will need surgery that will remove just enough tissue, but not too much. Otherwise, you might need a skin transplant.  If I cut it out today, I would have to take so much tissue on either side that a skin transplant would be needed.” He explained that with Mohs surgery, the surgeon cuts thin slices and has each one biopsied, until the slices are free of cancer cells.   He said about 2 percent of these tumors metastasize after surgery.  Still if one has to get a skin cancer better it is squamous cell or basil cell carcinoma than the more deadly melanoma. I drove home and scheduled an appointment for Mohs surgery. 

As I researched this topic, I learned that surgery, even though it can be lifesaving, can also contribute to metastasis of cancer. Quoting from the article:

This review summarizes the often fragmentary clinical and experimental evidence supporting the role of surgery and inflammation as potential triggers for disease recurrence. Surgery induces increased shedding of cancer cells into the circulation, suppresses anti-tumor immunity allowing circulating cells to survive, upregulates adhesion molecules in target organs, recruits immune cells capable of entrapping tumor cells and induces changes in the target tissue and in the cancer cells themselves to enhance migration and invasion to establish at the target site. Surgical trauma induces local and systemic inflammatory responses that can also contribute to the accelerated growth of residual and micrometastatic disease.

I also did some Internet queries on cannabis oil being used both topically and internally for various cancers including skin cancers. I had read Rick Simpson’s book Phoenix Tears that describes his effective use of cannabis oil for a variety of cancers. The book is a fascinating read. However, Simpson sees this oil as a cure for all cancers. He does not discuss any of the negative consequences of marijuana use.  In Beyond Mental Illness I discuss research showing that some, because of their unique genetic makeup, are more prone to psychosis after taking the drug. Also, heavy smokers of cannabis have an increased risk of stroke. Simpson, a heavy cannabis user, had a stroke.  Also there is some evidence that cannabis use among those with HPV -related cancers actually facilitates growth of cancer cells

But when I read more of the scientific literature, I learned that overall, the effects of cannabis oil are more positive than negative. A 2003 study reported the effectiveness of cannabis oil in skin tumors on mice. The authors proposed two mechanisms: direct apoptosis of tumor cells and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis, the ability of the tumor to grow new blood vessels to feed it. Testimonials of cancer patients given Rick Simpson’s Oil are impressive. Likewise, pictures of gradual healing of squamous and basil cell cancer are compelling.

I decided to apply a THC/CBD oil product similar to Rick Simpson’ oil. It contained 454 mg THC and 444 mg CBD. I figured if I could reduce the size of the tumor, perhaps the surgeon would not have to remove so much skin.

On March 16, I started daily treatment by applying a very small amount of oil to the tumor and covering it with an adhesive pad. I had not planned to take any photos or even write about my experience.  I was squeamish about squamous. But in that first month I noted the disappearance of a small vein going into the tumor and a reduction of the size of the tumor. Then I decided to share my experience.

Below are six photos taken in order with a cell phone on April 16, 21, 26, May 3 and 11. I took the last two May 12. One shows a profile, the other a direct view. The quality of these photos is not consistent due to different settings and lightening conditions, but they show a gradual reduction in inflammation and size.

4/16   

4/21

4/26

5/3

5/12

On 27 April I returned to the dermatologist. After he quickly looked at the tumor without measuring it, he announced that it was still the same size. Apparently, it was still 1.6 cm but he admitted it looked a lot better. I told him I still had an appointment for Mohs surgery. (I had moved it back a month.) We talked about cannabis as medicine. He said there is a lot of snake oil around various marijuana products. I did not argue.

Probably this doctor did not know that the pejorative term “snake oil medicine” referred to an actual ointment immigrants brought from China that contained high level of omega fatty acids from the water snake. Dr Richard Kunin bought a sample in San Franscisco’s China Town and had it analyzed. It was better for the patients than the remedies hawked by drug peddlers, forerunners of the pharmaceutical industry. The sellers of worthless tonics saw snake oil salesmen as a challenge to their dominance.  

I went home to check on the size of the tumor. It was 1.0 CM, 37% smaller than 1.6. Either I didn’t measure correctly or the doctor’s belief system blinded him to what he saw.

By 10 May the tumor had shrunk down to 80 millimeters, half the original 1.6 centimeters. Surgery through Medicare would be cheaper than the 30 dollars I spend weekly for the oil, but so far the oil seems to be working.    I am still scheduled for Mohs surgery in two weeks. I have three choices, get the surgery, delay it or cancel it. What would you do?

The above is not medical advice, but a sharing of my experience using the cannabis oil for my particular cancer along with research data on risks and benefits using it with other cancers.

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