Effects of Medical Cannabis on Advanced Cancer Pain
An evidence based practice review on the effects of medical cannabis on advanced stage cancer pain
Cancer is a disease that impacts people from all walks of life, and most patients experience some form of pain with their diagnosis. Pain can be related to their cancer or the treatment of their disease. According to the National Cancer Institute, 20% to 50% of patients with cancer experience pain and in patients with advanced-stage cancer, 80% of patients experience moderate to severe pain (2021). In order to improve the quality of life of patients living with advanced cancer, their pain needs to be managed. According to the American Cancer Society, “advanced cancer” describes cancer that is incurable. Patients with advanced cancer have varying levels of pain dependent on the type of cancer and is based on the individual’s perception (2020). Medical cannabis is one alternative therapy being used to help treat pain and other symptoms of certain medical conditions (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2021). The purpose of this Evidence-Based Practice review is to examine pain management of cancer patients using medical cannabis. Nurses or other healthcare providers can use this information to educate patients on alternative pain management therapies.