Tommy Chong has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The comedian has just announced his recent diagnosis of the disease as well as use of marijuana to help treat his prostate cancer.
Chong, half of the 70's stoner comedic duo Cheech & Chong, revealed his prostate cancer diagnosis over the weekend. Prostate cancer is no laughing matter and Chong has a positive outlook on his diagnosis. Instead of admitting defeat, Chong's prostate cancer is making him a more vocal advocate for decriminalizing marijuana.
According to the American Cancer Society, 241,740 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnoses in 2012 while prostate cancer accounted for 28,170 deaths. Prostate cancer is a leading cause of death in men and one of the most common types of cancer for men. While prostate cancer is deadly, it is not a guaranteed death sentence as many men who have prostate cancer are living normal lives.
Chong, 74, was diagnosed with prostate cancer about one month ago, according to comments made to CNN's Don Lemon. Chong has been living with the disease for nearly eight years, noticing symptoms of prostate cancer while serving time for selling drug paraphernalia. Chong calls his cancer as slow-growing.
Chong has long been associated with marijuana and his prostate cancer is letting him voice his pro-marijuana stance in a more serious fashion. According to Chong's comments to CNN, he calls marijuana a cure and is taking, not smoking, hemp oil to help treat his cancer. Legalizing marijuana would mean more than being able to get high in public.
Decriminalizing marijuana could remove the stigma of its potential therapeutic uses of marijuana. It's not about getting high for medical marijuana use; instead marijuana could be used to treat symptoms. Marijuana may help ease nausea in patients undergoing chemotherapy and could increase appetite in cancer or AIDS patients and has also been shown to ease intra-ocular pressure in glaucoma patients.
At the same time, marijuana for medical use remains controversial and its supposed benefits have been disputed. A recent study showed that cannabis capsules did not slow progress of multiple sclerosis.
Prostate cancer will not be affecting Chong's future plans with longtime buddy Chong as the duo will be performing shows through the fall.