October is, after all, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So, if you haven’t been able to tell, check out the sudden prominence of pink ribbons that represent acknowledgement of this often-terrible disease. Breast cancer affects 250,000 new women on a yearly basis. And, many forget that men can develop the disease, too. Each year, thousands are diagnosed. Over 40,000 people will die of breast cancer in the year of 2020.
Despite the fact that many have lost their lives to breast cancer, the reality is that in today’s world, thanks to modern medicine, it’s more treatable than it ever has been before. Given its haunting prevalence, medical researchers have discovered new methods for treating it. Why also detecting it as early as possible. Of course, devoting an entire month to its awareness has helped inspire as many people as possible to take preventative measures and get regular screenings that could save a great deal of lives.
There are numerus methods for treating breast cancer, as we said, and today’s oncologists are equipped with various measures that can help manage numbers and help people beat the disease. Meanwhile, more therapeutics have been developed for the symptoms of breast cancer, which are rarely discussed in comparison to the statistics on mortality.
An influx of studies have found that CBD has some unique properties that could be potentially useful when it comes to treating the symptoms that accompany breast cancer. We’ll be taking a close look at them and seeing how they relate to breast cancer patients specifically.
Who is at Risk of Developing Breast Cancer?
First, let’s discuss the risk factors associated with breast cancer, as knowing your personal risk is a huge key to preventing the disease in the first place.
Those with a History in Their Family
They can be at greater risk of developing the disease later in life. Why? Because this indicates specific genetic mutations that make bodily conditions favorable for breast cancer.
Men and women who are obese are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
Abusing alcohol puts a person at a higher risk of developing breast cancer due to toxins in alcohol.
Smoking is another major risk factor, as the toxic chemicals in cigarette tobacco increase multiple cancer risks.
It’s been found that women with abnormally high estrogen levels are at a greater risk of developing breast cancer.
Use of Oral Contraceptives
Oral contraceptives seem to contribute to the risk of breast cancer by altering a woman’s hormonal makeup.
Preventing Breast Cancer
Preventing breast cancer largely depends on maintaining a generally healthy lifestyle. This is complete with a healthy diet, abstinence from unhealthy habits, regular exercise, healthy stress levels, and good sleep. And, of course, seeing a doctor annually for a breast exam is key to catching breast cancer early on.
Symptoms Commonly Associated with Breast Cancer
While everyone’s experience with breast cancer is unique to them, there are some symptoms which are more common than others.
Symptom #1: Fatigue
Very commonly reported symptom of breast cancer, and cancer in general. When the body develops cancerous cells, the immune system works extremely hard to fight them off and prevent them from multiplying. When the immune system works this hard, the body can become very tired due to the enormous effort.
Symptom #2: Pain Around the Breast Area
This pain tends to be dull and aggravated by physical exertion. But, if you have any kind of abnormal breast pain, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Symptom #3: Psychological Effects
Something that’s rarely discussed in clinical environments pertaining to breast cancer. Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be incredibly distressing. People may react by showing signs of stress, anxiety, depression, or all of the above. Psychological effects such as these can weaken the immune system over time. Hence, managing them is paramount to overall health.
Furthermore, there are various treatments known for being effective. However, they do come with side effects that may be severe. Popularly, chemotherapy produces negative effects on appetite and can cause nausea and vomiting.
CBD and Symptoms of Breast Cancer
If you want to try a natural approach to managing symptoms of breast cancer, you might want to look into CBD. Being a cannabinoid, CBD attaches itself to cannabinoid receptors in every system of the body, which produces regulatory effects that keep bodily processes functioning as efficiently as possible.
Now, let’s look at some of the specific applications that can be applied to breast cancer patients.
In studies, CBD has shown promising results when it comes to all kinds of pain. Research shows that cannabidiol regulates both inflammation and the function of pain receptors in the brain, which could make our pain threshold higher through analgesic actions. CBD can be taken orally or applied via transdermal administration directly to the affected area in the form of a topical.
Caused by cancer can be severe and can interfere with a person’s ability to function in day to day life and maintain a generally healthy lifestyle. New evidence suggests that CBD, with its regulatory effects, can help manage energy homeostasis by supporting the body’s natural daily energy cycle which peaks and dips as needed throughout the day.
Nausea, Vomiting, and Poor Appetite
Several findings have shown that CBD can improve appetite while combating nausea and vomiting. This is, in fact, one of the most common uses for CBD among cancer patients, as chemotherapy can interfere with a person’s ability to receive adequate nutrition in order to fight the disease.
Stress, Anxiety and Depression
Mental health is paramount to physical health, and no cancer patient deserves to suffer from extreme psychological distress. Plenty of data has uncovered how cannabidiol has regulatory effects on mood thanks to its ability to control secretions of specific neurotransmitters that influence our psychological and emotional states. CBD has been studied to reduce anxiety and depression while creating a sense of calm that can combat stress.
Immune System Function
Cannabidiol may be able to improve overall immune functions, and this is again a result of the inherent regulatory nature of cannabinoids as they are fed to the body’s cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoid receptors are present in the immune system, which would naturally imply that CBD and other cannabinoids have the ability to improve the system’s overall function. Immunity is key to fighting diseases of all kinds, including cancer. Further, chemotherapy can deplete the immune system, and so supporting it through natural means may prevent infections.
How to Use CBD if You Have Breast Cancer
We highly recommend that you speak to a doctor before starting a CBD regimen if you are a cancer patient. Make sure they’re aware of medications and other forms of treatment that you are currently on. It’s also important that you choose a CBD product that comes from a trusted company, and one that has their hemp lab-tested for quality and purity levels. Choose a milligram strength that reflects your symptoms and take it daily for the best results.
This October, as we spread awareness of breast cancer and honor those we have lost, let’s pay attention to the emerging studies on CBD and how they may relate to associated symptoms of the disease. CBD is a holistic option to which many doctors have given their seal of approval.