Many cancer doctors recommend medical marijuana despite lack of studies
Most cancer doctors say they don't know enough about medical marijuana to provide an informed opinion to patients.
Nevertheless, many go ahead and give its use their blessing, a national survey reveals.
Seven out of 10 oncologists surveyed in the United States said they aren't informed enough about the risks and benefits of medical marijuana to recommend its use to patients, according to findings published May 10 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
But eight out of 10 cancer doctors said they've discussed medical marijuana with patients in the past year, and 46 percent have gone so far as to recommend its use in cancer treatment.
This is a "concerning discrepancy," said Dr. Ilana Braun, chief of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's division of adult psychosocial oncology, in Boston.
"We can think of few other instances in which physicians would offer clinical advice about a topic on which they do not feel knowledgeable," Braun said.
Currently, there are 30 states with medical marijuana laws on the books, and almost all name cancer as a qualifying condition for its use, Braun said.