Although limited studies have been carried out on the effects of marijuana on triple negative breast cancer, current thinking is that this type of breast cancer responds well to high THC strains of marijuana.
Triple negative breast cancer is characterised by having a lack of hormone receptors (estrogen, progesterone and HER2 receptors). This means it is generally more aggressive than other types of breast cancer and more challenging for doctors to treat.
Because of its lack of receptors, triple negative breast cancer is generally only treated with chemotherapy, although immunotherapy is being investigated as a new alternative to chemo, in both early and advanced triple negative breast cancers.
Triple negative can metastasize early and treatment for metastatic cancer is palliative in this setting, meaning it cannot be cured. Chemotherapy is used to try and curb the disease and alleviate symptoms.
How marijuana works for triple negative breast cancer
Research has shown that PR+, HER2-positive, and triple-negative breast cancers can be effectively treated with cannabis. The protocols recommended by doctors tend to have high THC-to-CBD ratios, often around 4:1.
Researchers have found that cannabidiol from cannabis plants have the ability to turn off the gene that is responsible for metastasis of the aggressive triple negative breast cancer.
Triple-negative cancer cells have a high concentration of ID-1 (protein which causes cancer can spread through the body). When scientists exposed these cells to cannabidiol, to their surprise the cells turned back to their normal, healthy state. The CBD turned off the overactive ID-1, and thus stopped the spread to surrounding tissues.
Food culprits such as refined sugar, red meat, dairy products, alcohol and excess carbohydrates are also associated with poor health and increased risk of breast cancer. Cutting out these foods and adding superfoods and a good, plant based diet will also help triple negative breast cancer sufferers to have a better prognosis.