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Prescribing Cannabis for Symptom Management in Cancer Patients

Presented by Assoc. Prof. Judith Lacey

About this module:

Cancer is rapidly becoming the number one cause of mortality in many countries. Increasingly people diagnosed with cancer are turning to medicinal cannabis to treat symptoms/signs associated with cancer and its treatments. In this presentation, Associate Professor Judith Professor of the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse Comprehensive Cancer Centre, shares her experience in cancer and cancer treatment symptom management, including its use in treating refractory symptoms in advanced cancer. 

This presentation assumes an understanding of the endocannabinoid system and how CBD and THC work. This presentation is pitched at the level of healthcare practitioners and those with a background in biomedical sciences. 
Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module, learners will be able to:

  • Describe common symptoms experienced by patients with cancer.
  • Justify the potential role of medicinal cannabis in the treatment of cancer- and cancer treatment- related symptoms, based on an understanding of the scientific evidence.
  • Debate the evidence base for the use of medicinal cannabis in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
  • Take a comprehensive history with a cancer patient and utilise simple measurement tools to monitor symptoms and outcomes of treatment with medicinal cannabis.
  • Develop a medicinal cannabis treatment strategy for a cancer patient, and communicate clearly about how to titrate for therapeutic effect and the potential side effects of cannabis medicines. 

Assoc Prof. Judith Lacey

Judith Lacey is the Head of Supportive Care and Integrative Oncology at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse Comprehensive Cancer Centre (COBLH). Her primary interest is in the development and integration of supportive care interventions that include evidence based complementary therapies, exercise and nutrition to keep people living well with cancer independent of prognosis or stage of disease. With over 20 years experience working in cancer care, Judith provides holistic supportive care to patient living with cancer with a focus on multidisciplinary integrative oncology, and whole person care. She works with a large team of dedicated health professionals and researchers to maximise patient wellbeing. 
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