Regardless of age, gender, class, or race, most people know someone who has battled or succumbed to the devastating effects of cancer. Many know the long journey and painful weeks or years of treatment that patients and their loved ones are subjected to. This includes both the drain on physical abilities as well as the strain on mental health. Yet, there is still little awareness regarding managing a holistic approach to cancer and patient treatment.
As mental health awareness has grown in recent years, society is moving away from a one-size-fits-all treatment plan. The integration of psychedelics into this conversation has allowed for medical innovation that expands beyond the traditional bounds of medicine. These realizations provoke an awareness of the potential of psychedelic medicines and the benefits of diversifying the treatment of cancer and the treatment of psychological distress at its core.
Psychedelics have recently been linked and are being studied as a way to help cancer patients who are facing anguish and distress from the effects of their current diagnosis and treatments. While traditional cancer treatment focuses on abnormal cells rapidly dividing and spreading in one’s body, a holistic approach must be taken into consideration to better support the side effects.
In addition to a cancer diagnosis, there are also common side effects such as signs of depression, anxiety, pain, loss of self, and sleeplessness in those who are being treated. These diagnoses are often overlooked and ignored leaving those who are fighting cancer ravaged with many additional challenges. Statistically, those who had fewer symptoms of depression while being treated for cancer have an improved outcome and a longer survival time. Companies like Enveric Biosciences (NASDAQ: ENVB) and major institutions such as the University of Calgary are collaborating on improved and holistic treatment plans for cancer to alleviate the common distress, beginning with clinical trials which include psychedelics. With statistics that indicate that 8 – 24% of those diagnosed with cancer face depression, there is a great need for effective psychological treatment plans. Creating conversations through clinical trials and expanding treatment plans provides patients with alternative medicine and safe spaces for the innovation of collaborative treatments.
The study of psilocybin, otherwise known as “Magic Mushrooms” has shown clinically significant positive effects on reducing anxiety and depression. Utilizing natural hallucinogens allows for a change in thought and mood that can be regulated and monitored by medical experts. The preliminary results of clinical trials have shown that patients are often able to deal with their fears and mental health challenges in a constructive way when consuming regulated small doses of psilocybin. As a result, allowing them to come to peace with their diagnoses and reduce anxiety and depression.
Although this treatment was first suggested in the early 60s to 70s it has taken almost 50 years for this to become a mainstream conversation, illuminating a barrier in medical innovation related to stigmatized drugs. Similarly, LSD has also been linked to the beneficial treatment of depression, anxiety, as well as the fear of death. In addition, other major contributors such as MindBio Therapeutics are paving the way for innovational medicine through clinical trials that involve psychedelic use. Currently looking at 4 areas of psychedelic treatment and starting phase two on clinical trials of ‘microdosing’ 80 healthy patients with LSD to see the effects in hopes of treating late-stage cancer patience, depressive disorder, and pain management in late-stage cancer treatments. This treatment can expand how society deals with their relationship on pain management, death, and overall mental health.
In the 21st century, cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases and the leading cause of death. Psychedelic is innovating treatment plans, allowing society to broaden the way we manage cancer treatments and speak to the core issues as well as of treatment – patient wellbeing. Cancer causes a significant impact on lifestyle both during and after treatment as it yields a high rate of morbidity. Innovation in the field has been stagnant as effective treatment plans are dominantly limited to life-altering processes such as radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery. Often cancer treatment attacks both cancerous cells and healthy cells with no differentiation.
Psychedelic medical innovation must be at the forefront of conversation to allow medical treatment plans that involve positive and effective changes without stigmatization.