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Radium 223, pistachios & cannabis

Posted 24 Sep 2019 at 04:12

Dear all

I have not posted for some years.  My dad was diagnosed in 2013 and things have got worse recently.  

He has new mets in his vertebrae and is in constant pain.  He cannot sleep all night due to the pain and frequent visits to the toilet at night.

His psa has shot up to over 200, and he has started radium 223.  Please could anyone advice on best pain relief for bone metastasis, his oncologist advised only paracetamol!!  I’m furious with the management of his pain.   I’m considering cannabis as feel desperate.  I did call the hospital back who have advised palliative care referral to help with the pain.    What do others take for pain relief?

I can’t sleep thinking of my dad being in pain.  There are some great stories regarding cannabis shrinking tumours.   Has anyone tried this?  There is a documentary on TV soon regarding this and prostate cancer sufferer. 

Also an interesting observation recently, my dad one night had a few too many nuts to eat, particularly pistachios, that night not a single trip to the loo!!!


I researched that pistachios have high level of melatonin?, anyone else had this effect?

The visits to the loo at night are odd, and large volumes of urine, but hardly any visits during the day.  We are confused by the large volume of urine despite no fluids after 4pm. 

Any advice welcome, 


Thank you











Posted 24 Sep 2019 at 15:16
It is not a good idea for him to have no fluids after 4pm - he is at risk of dehydration. You may find that if he drinks more evenly through the day & evening, the night trips become less. Does he have swollen feet, ankles or similar? The frequent night trips could be due to lympodema. Alternatively, it could be that the tumour is blocking the urethra during the day when he is vertical but not at night when he is laid down? Or he could just be a restless sleeper and if he hadn't been referred to palliative care, it might have been useful for him to be referred to a continence clinic for bladder retraining.

As he has exhausted most treatments and is now experiencing such discomfort, it is absolutely right that he is referred to the palliative care team or local hospice for pain management; they are the experts in this stuff and will do a far better job of finding the right combination of meds to keep him comfortable without being too knocked out. It is a difficult balancing act which GPs and urologists / oncologists are rarely experts in. Has he / the family been given advice on the signs and indicators of spinal cord compression to look out for, as this would be a medical emergency requiring a 999 call but sometimes patients have no idea about it until too late.

There is no scientific evidence for cannabis (even in the medicinal oil format) being a successful treatment for cancer.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

Posted 24 Sep 2019 at 18:42
I agree with Lynne.

During my many treatments I too have completed a course of 6 x Radium 223 injections, and when my pain levels started to rise I saw my local McMillan nurses who prescribed. Omerprazole, Naproxen, Calcichew/vitamin D, Paracetamol, Gabapentin, and Liquid Orimorph for breakthrough pain.

Obviously we re all different so your father may need less/additional medication as applicable.


PSA 200 is not particularly high. Mine is currently 1200. Having topped-out at 1800 about 3 months ago.

Whilst I have no personal experience of cannabis oil use. I know some people, both with and without cancer who have tried it for general pain relief.

Keep the Faith


Posted 24 Sep 2019 at 20:24

Thank you so much for the replies and advice. 


We have not been warned of spinal cord compression.  I will look into this.  

I have had a call from palliative care nurse this evening and she will visit my dad tomorrow. 

Thanks so much for replying. 







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