Many Oncologists Discuss, Recommend Medical Marijuana

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

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THURSDAY, May 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Many oncologists recommend medical marijuana (MM) clinically despite not feeling sufficiently knowledgeable about its utility, according to a study published online May 10 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Ilana M. Braun, M.D., 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 percent).

The researchers found that only 30 percent of oncologists felt sufficiently informed to make recommendations regarding MM. Far more (80 percent) discussed MM with patients, while 46 percent 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.

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