Few of us are untouched by cancer, either directly or through the suffering of friends and family members. And while treatment of this ancient disease has advanced remarkably (survival rates have doubled in the last 40 years), the onslaught continues. Approximately 8 million people die of cancer each year, with half of those dying prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years).

World Cancer Day was created to draw further attention to the worldwide battle against cancer. Their 3-year campaign is called “We can. I can.” It lists the many ways “we can” as a community can make a positive difference by, for example, creating healthy environments and challenging perceptions. The “I Can” actions include making healthy lifestyle choices and speaking out.

We at CMCC would like you to join with us in speaking out and drawing attention to a promising study published in January. Initiated in response to a body of anecdotal evidence indicating the anti-tumor effects of THC in patients with leukemia, this carefully crafted study concluded that it provides “rigorous data to support clinical evaluation of THC as a low-toxic therapy option in a well defined subset of acute leukemia patients.”

Translating the understated language typical of such papers, THC was shown to be safe and effective in both stemming the proliferation and in actually destroying leukemia cells.

That’s big. Really big.

First, this study convincingly justifies the pursuit of further studies, which should include direct administration of THC to leukemia patients. Further, the tumor-attacking potential of THC should be investigated in other forms of cancer.

It is, of course, premature and even irresponsible to proclaim cannabis cures cancer. But when one combines the results of this study with the mountain of anecdotal evidence, it is imperative that the tremendous healing potential of a relatively harmless, low-cost medicine be fully and expeditiously pursued.

Spread the word, and please support organizations like the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network. CCSN is a member of the CMCC Patient Advisory Committee (PAC), and they help empower and support Canadian cancer survivors and their families, friends and communities.

Together we can all make a difference to those affected by cancer today, and work towards improved treatment options tomorrow.