Up to a third of UK children receiving end-of-life care may be using cannabis

Up to a third of UK children receiving end-of-life care may be using cannabis
Cannabis Health News

Many UK families are accessing cannabis for children with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses, say experts, without any support from their doctors. Despite cannabis not being prescribed for childhood cancer, even through private clinics, many families in the UK are thought to be accessing it illicitly without the support of medical professionals. In a recent webinar exploring the use of cannabis in paediatric oncology, featuring clinicians from the UK and Canada, it was revealed that up to a third of patients with cancer and other life-limiting conditions may be using cannabis. Data collected through pre-clinical surveys distributed through the NHS and end-of-life hospice services suggests that up to 30% of this patient group are using some form of cannabis-based product, according to Dr Bob Phillips, a senior lecturer at the University of York and an honorary consultant in paediatric and teenage oncology. “In the children’s long-term and life-limiting conditions’ arena, what we call hospice care, there’s a lot of surveys that have been done around what people are using and how they are using it,” he said. “We’re seeing that maybe 30% of those patients with a life-limiting condition are using some form of cannabis-related products.” The webinar, which was hosted by the Canadian Collaborative for Childhood Cannabinoid Therapeutics (C4T) in collaboration with Medcan Support, on Wednesday 23 November, explored how doctors overseas are taking a harm-reduction approach to support families battling cancer.  Recent years have seen an increase in the use of cannabis for symptom control, but also for anticancer effects. Cross-sectional studies and real world data show that patients who have been using cannabis report some improvements in nausea and vomiting, reduced appetite, pain, insomnia and anxiety. The prevalence of cannabis use in childhood cancer  A Canadian study, led by Dr Sapna Oberoi, found that 97% of paediatric…

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