How Common Is Cannabis Use Among Young Adult Cancer Patients?

Cannabis can help alleviate some of the symptoms of cancer and its treatment, and a new study examines the prevalence of its use among young adult cancer patients now that medical cannabis is becoming increasingly available. The demographic and clinical factors likely to correlate with cannabis use and differences in moderate to severe symptoms between users and non-users are reported in a study published in Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology (JAYAO), a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Click here to read the full-text article free on the Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology (JAYAO) website through September 26, 2019.

Kristine Donovan, PhD, MBA and colleagues from Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL coauthored the article entitled “Cannabis Use in Young Adult Cancer Patients.” On urine drug testing for a breakdown product of cannabis, they showed that 30% of young adult cancer patients ages 18 to 39 tested positive. The researchers report that this prevalence rate of cannabis use is higher than for young adults in the general population and adult cancer patients seeking specialized symptom management. Young adult cannabis users were more likely to be male and, surprisingly, to report having more severe symptoms, including pain, nausea, lack of appetite, constipation, and difficulty sleeping.

Editor-in-Chief of JAYAO Leonard S. Sender, MD, CHOC Children’s Hospital Hyundai Cancer Institute, Orange, CA, states: “As cannabis becomes legal for medical and recreational use in more states, it is increasingly important that its use in cancer patients is evidence-based. More research is needed into premorbidity and effectiveness relative to other pharmacological agents.”

About the Journal

Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology (JAYAO) is a bimonthly peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the promotion of interdisciplinary research, education, communication, and collaboration between health professionals in AYA oncology. Led by Leonard S. Sender, MD, CHOC Children’s Hospital Hyundai Cancer Institute, Orange, CA, JAYAO provides a forum for AYA cancer research and practice advances for all professional participants and researchers in care for AYA-aged cancer patients and survivors. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the JAYAO website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative medical and biomedical peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Palliative Medicine and Cancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 80 journals, newsmagazines, and books is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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