One cannot overemphasize the impact of cancer on contemporary society. Regardless of an individual’s age group or socioeconomic status, they are bound to know someone who died far too young from this awful disease. Similarly, cancer is non-discriminatory in its victims—taking the lives of males, females, youths, and elderly. For the young male demographic, testicular cancer is a real threat to one’s longevity and quality of life. Because, “testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 35.” For the most part, testicular cancer propagates within the germ cells that comprise male sperm.
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Depending on the “stage” (one through three) of testicular cancer development, there are a few options for treatment. For starters, this form of cancer is initially combatted with surgery, in which the cancerous testicle, and occasionally lymph nodes, are removed. After surgery, testicular cancer patients are treated with radiation or chemotherapy—depending on the severity of the case in question. It’s important to note, however, that testicular cancer has the highest survival rate of any cancer with survival rates as high as 95 percent .
Opposing Opinions: A Word Of Caution
As seen with the many facets of the novel medical marijuana field, there are opposing study results concerning the benefits of cannabis use in relation to testicular cancer. Most notably, some studies report that regular use of marijuana heightens “the HCG testicular cancer marker in men.” This means, during blood tests marijuana triggers the same chemical red flags seen with testicular cancer detection. While opinions on these findings vary, it’s worth noting that some studies report that regular cannabis use actually increases one’s chance in contracting testicular cancer.
Chemotherapy Ailment Relief
The use of medical marijuana to treat the side effects of chemotherapy is the most widely studied, and accepted, type of medical use for the herb. To elaborate, there have been a number of studies which investigate the benefits of cannabinoids in quelling physical ailments related to chemotherapy. These investigations show that “[t]he main beneficial effects reported from use of cannabinoids [for chemo patients] are a reduction in the incidence and severity of nausea and vomiting…and [the] stimulation of appetite”.
Cannabis As Preventative Medicine
There has been cutting-edge scientific work done on laboratory animals to test the effectiveness of cannabinoids in retarding cancer cell growth. Remarkably, these studies show that cannabis does in fact “induce tumor regression in rodents” by effecting the “proliferation and apoptosis of numerous types of cancer cells”. Therefore, through the systematic studies of various cannabinoids and their reactions to the human organism, it’s not unrealistic to feel that medical marijuana could one day be used as a preventative medicine regarding testicular cancer.
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Kent Gruetzmacher M.F.A. is a Colorado based freelance writer and the Director of Business Development at Mac & Fulton Executive Search (www.mandfconsultants.com), an employment recruiting firm dedicated to the indoor gardening and hydroponics industry. He is interested in utilizing his M.A. in the Humanities to critically explore the many cultural and business facets of this youthful, emergent industry by way of his entrepreneurial projects.