Many Oncologists Discuss, Recommend Medical Marijuana

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But majority of oncologists don't feel knowledgeable enough to make these recommendations
But majority of oncologists don't feel knowledgeable enough to make these recommendations

(HealthDay News) -- Many oncologists recommend medical marijuana (MM) clinically despite not feeling sufficiently knowledgeable about its utility, according to a study published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Ilana M. Braun, MD, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues surveyed 400 medical oncologists regarding their beliefs, knowledge, and practices regarding MM (response rate, 63%).

The researchers found that only 30% of oncologists felt sufficiently informed to make recommendations regarding MM. Far more (80%) discussed MM with patients, while 46% clinically recommended MM. Roughly two-thirds of respondents viewed MM as a helpful adjunct to standard pain management strategies; a similar proportion viewed MM as equally or more effective than standard treatments for anorexia/cachexia.

"These findings are clinically important and suggest critical gaps in research, medical education, and policy regarding MM," the authors write.

Reference

Braun IM, Wright A, Peteet J, et al. Medical Oncologists' Beliefs, Practices, and Knowledge Regarding Marijuana Used Therapeutically: A Nationally Representative Survey Study. J Clin Oncol. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2017.76.1221

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