Worth Repeating: Marijuana Reduces Risk of Head & Neck Cancer


Photo: WebMD
Smoking marijuana from 10 to 20 years reduces your risk of head and neck cancer, according to a 2009 study.

​By Ron Marczyk, R.N.

Health Education Teacher (Retired)

Welcome to all you “Tokies.” Class is now in session! And yes, this info will be on the test! 
I am humbled by the large numbers of viewers who have shared “Worth Repeating,” my positive marijuana medical reports.
These are the studies that have been unreported or under-reported in the media. We will now control the real story on marijuana, Love will be our weapon, and Truth will be our Shield!
The U.S. government has had a monopoly for 75 years on the information that is reported on and broadcasted to the all of us regarding marijuana. They lied, and hid the truth to place profits over people. I believe we are at a tipping point to fix this and undo the damage done to millions of people by the criminalization of our peaceful herb.  

Photo: AP

​Remember: 2012 is when we get a chance to fix this!  Do your homework! Read, research info on the web, talk it up, and share this report with other likely voters! Only the educated are free.  
My first post on Toke of the Town described the groundbreaking study carried out by Dr. Donald Tashkin of UCLA who conducted the largest-ever study of marijuana’s effect on the lungs. His team found that not only was cannabis not associated with lung cancer, but that it possibly even exerts a protective effect against it
My second post detailed a 2007 study, performed at Harvard University, that showed cancer tumors shrunk by 50 percent in weight, with a 60 percent reduction in the number of lung tumors after three weeks of treatment with THC in mice.
Need more supporting scientific/medical evidence?
Worth Repeating: 20 Years of Marijuana Smoking Reduces Risk of Head and Neck Cancer
A Population-Based Case-Control Study of Marijuana Use and Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Research preformed at Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Division of Biology and Medicine, Brown University, Providence, R.I.
Essentially what this very recent retrospective study found is that there is significantly reduced risk association between 10 to 20 years of marijuana use and a reduced risk of head and neck cancer.
Further, it also shows that there is reduced risk for head and neck cancer in people who make moderate use of marijuana each week and that the risk is reduced in people that start using marijuana at an older age. 
How The Study Was Designed
Researchers first found individuals (Group A – 434 patients, in nine hospitals around the state) who had head and neck squamous carcinoma (HNSCC). Then the researchers tried to match this group as closely with individuals with the same demographics (age, gender, residence etc.), but who did not have cancer HNSCC (Group B – 547 people) .
In Group A, everyone has cancer, and in Group B nobody does. Group B would be the controls which the HNSCC patients would be measured against using a 20 year look back. 
What Data Was Collected?

Once they had the two groups they had them fill out very detailed questionnaires about their use of marijuana (frequency of use, years of use in decades, age at which they began use, average use per week, etc.).
Once they had the questionnaires filled out they used statistics to control for any unforeseen differences between the two groups such as lifetime alcohol consumption, smoking tobacco, family cancer history, and employment history. They statistically controlled for all the differences that would throw the results off, and then they compared the use of marijuana use between the people with cancer and those without cancer.
The researchers then looked back in time using the detailed history of the two groups, and looked for cancer trends that would related to marijuana use only. 
Essentially what they found is that there is an significant association between 10 and 20 years of marijuana use and a reduced risk of HNSCC.
Further, they also show that there is reduced risk for HNSCC in people that make moderate use of marijuana each week and that the risk is reduced in people that start using marijuana at an older age.
Caution: This study does not say using marijuana ‘reduces cancer’ since this was only a descriptive/retrospective study which can only show an association and not a cause and effect relationship.
What they are showing is that there is a statistical relationship between use of marijuana and a decreased risk of HNSCC under certain stipulations (moderate use, starting at an older age).
Taking these three studies together, and with many others to follow, we will help build our case for the widespread use of medical marijuana in the United States.
Imagine: Marijuana can save lives!
Here’s your homework:
Talk it up, spread the word to likely voters, set the groundwork now  – LEGALIZE CANNABIS!
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” ~ Gandhi
Editor’s note: Ron Marczyk will be bringing to your attention stories from the cannabis archives that are “Worth Repeating.”

Often, as stories are churned through the media’s 24-hour news cycle, good information flashes by and is lost. We aim to help correct that with “Worth Repeating,” which will cover important cannabis stories that you may have missed.
Ron is a retired health education teacher who taught health ed and psych (drug/sex ed) to high school students for 20 years. He is an R.N. (emergency room) M.S. in cardiac rehab, and worked as a New York City Police officer for two years.
More to come from the “Worth Repeating” Cannabis Archives — this gets even better…  stay tuned.