Bill Turnbull, 63, revealed in March last year he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and since then, the former BBC Breakfast presenter has used his public profile to detail his treatment process, revealing an intimate portrait of what life is like living with prostate cancer. Speaking on ITV’s This Morning today, the journalist revealed he is experimenting with an alternative therapy to help him manage his condition: “I take CBD oil every day.”
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CBD is a chemical compound known as cannabidiol, and is derived from the cannabis plant. CBD, commonly taken as a supplement in oil form, has shown promise as a form of treatment for a host of health conditions, including cancer.
As Macmillan UK notes, however, it is still unclear whether using cannabis has any anti-cancer effects, but there is some evidence that the chemicals in cannabis might help with symptoms such as nausea and pain.
Turnbull is currently undergoing chemotherapy to treat his prostate cancer, and research suggests CBD oil may help to ease the side effects associated with chemotherapy.
Research suggests that cannabinoids may ease neuropathic pain, nausea, and poor appetite due to cancer and cancer treatment. CBD is also thought to have anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties.
Appearing recently on the BBC Breakfast show, Turnbull revealed he has been experimenting with the alternative therapy.
He said: “It just made me high and very light-headed. We speak to doctor Peter McCormick in the film who shows that THC in cannabis, which is the bit that makes you high, does kill cancer cells, and it’s just a case of getting more research done, to see what generally the effect would be on human beings.
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“To be honest, it was an enjoyable experience, I wouldn’t do it every day, and I have tried it for a while, I just stopped it recently because I wasn’t sure where it was taking me.
“The difficulty is, it’s like say having aspirin, and not understanding how much to take and in what form or what quantities.
“We just don’t know – we know it can be beneficial, but because there hasn’t been enough research into what type to take, there’s thousands of different types, you don’t know what strength to take it in, or what mix to take it in, and because of that, I just wasn’t sure of where to go.
“We’re sure it is beneficial to a certain extent, but we’ve just got to find out how.”
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
As the NHS explained: “Prostate cancer does not usually cause any symptoms until the cancer has grown large enough to put pressure on the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis (urethra).”
Symptoms of prostate cancer can include:
- Needing to urinate more frequently, often during the night
- Needing to rush to the toilet
- Difficulty in starting to pee (hesitancy)
- Straining or taking a long time while peeing
- Weak flow
- Feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully
- Blood in urine or blood in semen
These symptoms do not always mean you have prostate cancer. Many men’s prostates get larger as they get older because of a non-cancerous condition called prostate enlargement, explains the NHS.
Signs that the cancer may have spread include bone and back pain, a loss of appetite, pain in the testicles and unexplained weight loss, the health site added.
Speaking to Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on the daytime show, Turnbull gave an update on his current health status: “I do feel psychically a lot better – psychologically a little different as you have ups and downs.”
The BBC star said that positive thinking forms an integral part of the treatment process: “I think it’s all about the moment you wake up and try and think positively.
“This is all part of nature – there’s still a beauty to it.
“It’s a fantastic world and you are part of that – let’s play our part.”
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