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HSR&D Citation Abstract

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Cannabis Use in Patients Seen in an Academic Radiation Oncology Department.

Cousins MM, Mayo C, Devasia T, Dykstra M, Regan S, Miller S, Allen SG, Bryant AK, Morales-Rivera K, Herr DJ, Edwards DM, Takayesu J, Birer S, Egerer N, Evans J, Elliott D, Henderson C, Laucis AM, McFarlane M, Dragovic AF, Shah J, Hayman JA, Coughlin LN, Ilgen M, Jagsi R. Cannabis Use in Patients Seen in an Academic Radiation Oncology Department. Practical radiation oncology. 2022 Nov 30; 13(2):112-121.

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PURPOSE: Cannabis use rates are increasing in the United States. Patients with cancer use cannabis for many reasons, even without high-quality supporting data. This study sought to characterize cannabis use among patients seen in radiation oncology in a state that has legalized adult nonmedical use cannabis and to identify key cannabis-related educational topics. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Cannabis history was documented by providers using a structured template at patient visits in an academic radiation oncology practice October 2020 to November 2021. Cannabis use data, including recency/frequency of use, reason, and mode of administration, were summarized, and logistic regression was used to explore associations between patient and disease characteristics and recent cannabis use. A multivariable model employed stepwise variable selection using the Akaike Information Criterion. RESULTS: Of 3143 patients total, 91 (2.9%) declined to answer cannabis use questions, and 343 (10.9%) endorsed recent use ( = 1 month ago), 235 (7.5%) noted nonrecent use ( > 1 month ago), and 2474 (78.7%) denied history of cannabis use. In multivariable analyses, those = 50 years old (odds ratio [OR], 0.409; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.294-0.568; P < .001) or with history of prior courses of radiation (OR, 0.748; 95% CI, 0.572-0.979; P  =  .034) were less likely, and those with a mental health diagnosis not related to substance use (OR, 1.533; 95% CI, 1.171-2.005; P  =  .002) or who smoked tobacco (OR, 3.003; 95% CI, 2.098-4.299; P < .001) were more likely to endorse recent cannabis use. Patients reported pain, insomnia, and anxiety as the most common reasons for use. Smoking was the most common mode of administration. CONCLUSIONS: Patients are willing to discuss cannabis use with providers and reported recent cannabis use for a variety of reasons. Younger patients new to oncologic care and those with a history of mental illness or tobacco smoking may benefit most from discussions about cannabis given higher rates of cannabis use in these groups.

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