If Pot Prevented Cancer, Would You Have Heard?

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HUFFINGTON POST- Two just-published studies assessing adults’ risk of cancer have reported wildly divergent, and fairly extraordinary, outcomes. One study you may have read about. The other has been ignored entirely by the mainstream media. But no doubt the results of both will surprise you.

First, the study you may have heard of. Writing August 3 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, investigators at McGill University in Montreal reported that moderate alcohol consumption — defined as six drinks or fewer per week — by adults is positively associated with an elevated risk of various cancers, including stomach cancer, rectal cancer, and bladder cancer.

And now for the study you haven’t heard of. Writing in the August issue of the journal Cancer Prevention Research, investigators from Rhode Island’s Brown University, along with researchers at Boston University, Louisiana State University, and the University of Minnesota reported that lifetime marijuana use is associated with a “significantly reduced risk” of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Authors reported, “after adjusting for potential confounders (including smoking and alcohol drinking), 10 to 20 years of marijuana use was associated with a significantly reduced risk of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNDCC).”

Perhaps even more notably, subjects who smoked marijuana and consumed alcohol and tobacco (two known high risk factors for head and neck cancers) also experienced a reduced risk of cancer, the study found.

Our study suggests that moderate marijuana use is associated with reduced risk of HNSCC,” investigators concluded. “This association was consistent across different measures of marijuana use (marijuana use status, duration, and frequency of use)….Further, we observed that marijuana use modified the interaction between alcohol and cigarette smoking, resulting in a decreased HNSCC risk among moderate smokers and light drinkers, and attenuated risk among the heaviest smokers and drinkers.”

Read full article about Pot Smoking Preventing Forms of Cancer.

© HUFFINGTON POST 2009

Photo by KayVeeInc.

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