A Botox injection has become synonymous with beauty and health. From wrinkles to worries, Botox treatment has become a ‘go to solution’ for aestheticians, doctors, and patients. It is hailed for its swift, non invasive nature and is ideally a modern alternative. But can it treat cancer?
What Is Botox?
Some call it ‘Fountain Of Youth’, while others know it as a ‘Wonder Drug’ for debilitating diseases. However, the technical name for Botox is Botulinum toxin A. This injectable substance is popular for its powerful effect against wrinkles, fine lines and ability to rejuvenate your entire look.
Moreover, a few shots of Botox can help you manage your crippling migraine or treat those annoying teeth grinding. Both practitioners and their clients acknowledge the merits of this drug because it can replace many traditional treatments.
Reasons Behind Botox Treatment’s Popularity
Thanks to ongoing research in aesthetic medicine, medical science and technology, Botox has been able to take over riskier surgeries, medications involving side effects and ineffective treatment options.
Some of the popular features of a Botox treatment are:
- MHRA and FDA have approved it and it is safe to use
- It provides a non invasive solution to an array of beauty and health concerns
- Botox treatments do not involve long recovery periods
- It also offers visible results in a few days or weeks after the procedure
- Injectors can quickly perform the procedure in an office or clinical setting
- No major risks or complications involved
- Clients usually report their satisfaction with the results upon its proper administration
How Does Botox Work?
Botox is actually a neurotoxin. Upon Botox’s entrance into your body, the neurotoxins target your nervous system. This results in disrupting the nerve impulses that stimulate muscle contraction. Hence, temporarily relaxing your muscles.
Let’s understand the working of Botox in depth
- A muscle in your body needs a chemical messenger called Acetylcholine to contract or shorten.
- So, the nerves release this messenger at the junction where the nerve endings meet the target muscle cells.
- As the Acetylcholine attaches the receptors on the target muscle cells, it allows cells to contract, and that is how you move your muscles.
After Botox Treatment
The Botox does not let the nerves release the chemical messenger. This prevents the muscles cells from contracting. That is how your muscles become relaxed and become less stiff.
Can A Botox Treatment Help To Fight Cancer?
Researchers at Norwegian University of Science and Technology conducted a promising study that was based on the basic working of Botox. The researchers gave out some promising conclusions at the end of their investigation.
The research focused the potential link between the body’s nervous system and the development of a cancer.
Based on Botox’s neurotoxin qualities, scientists wanted to study it as a way to essentially block the nerve impulses that may be responsible for cancer. They also wanted to assess the potential of Botox injection to enhance the effect of chemotherapies and radiation.
The study was based on the findings of results of a laboratory experiment, conducted on mice with tumor. A team of Belgian scientists injected Botox at the tumour’s original site in mice to terminate or at least slowed the growth of the tumour.
The research trials on mice indeed delivered promising results. According to the results, the tumours that received Botox injections showed stunted growth, thanks to the paralyzing action of the Botox.
How Botox can prove to be effective in treating cancer?
Scientists found that signals from the nerves that exist in and around the cancer cells seems to stimulate the growth of the cancerous cells. Researchers conducted a study to check if botox treatment can help in treating cancer on mice.
The researchers tried out four different methods for cutting the link between the nerves and the cancerous tumour: surgically cutting off the gastric vagus nerve, by locally injecting Botox for blocking the transmission of neurotransmitters emitted from vagus nerve, by giving medication in order to inhibit the receptors from neurotransmitters and by eliminating the receptor gene. All these procedures repressed the tumour growth. Out of these, the effects of Botox were outstanding.
The scientists administered Botox locally that interrupted the signals transmitted from nervous system that were found to be responsible for the development of cancer cells. This further slowed down the growth of cancerous tumour. Botox also helped in making cancer more responsive to the other treatments such as chemotherapy.
When a combination treatment of Botox and chemotherapy was used, scientists reported an increase of 35% in the survival rates (source:Zhao, C., Hayakawa, Y., Kodama, Y., Muthupalani, S., Westphalen, C., Andersen, G., et al. (2014). Denervation suppresses gastric tumorigenesis Botox is far cheaper and also less toxic in comparison to other aggressive treatments for cancer and has far less side effects.
As the tests of Botox on animals with cancerous tumour turned out to be positive, according to report of Daily Telegraph and Gemini the II phase clinical trials on human participants are initiated in Norway.
Can it only treat Stomach Cancer?
The early study has been conducted with a specific focus on the early stage stomach cancer tumour but the researchers are hopeful that further studies and researches into this realm would extend botox treatment to numerous other forms of cancers especially for prostate cancer.
Further investigations needed!
Though the findings seem to be encouraging but there is a need of further studies in finding the role of Botox treatment in cancer. However, Botox can be taken as an additional treatment for the cancer patients who suffer from inoperable and irremovable stomach cancer or for patients who no longer respond to the chemotherapy treatment or who cannot be given chemotherapy or who are meticulous about receiving the chemotherapy treatment and do not want to receive it.
Stay Put, Stay Positive!
Research Can Make It Happen
It is quite safe to say that modern research techniques and experiments in aesthetic medicine, medical science and technology have been of great service to mankind today. What was deemed impossible a decade ago is now widely in practice.
Thanks to the research, the ineffective lotions and portions against ageing are now widely replaced by just one syringe of Botox. Moreover, a disabling migraine is now treatable using MHRA Approved Botox injections without any major side effect!
By virtue of exploration and experimentation, Botox treatment offers a relatively effective alternative to myriad concerns such as:
- Frown Lines
- Crow’s Feet
- Chin Dimpling
- Bunny Lines Of The Nose
- Brow Lift
- Platysmal Neck Bands
- Smoker’s lines around the mouth
- Forehead Lines
Scientists and researchers are inching closer
The name Botox was synonymous with beauty and was widely used in aesthetic medicine to soften wrinkles or contour jawline. However, researchers were able to take advantage of Botox’s therapeutic qualities and made it possible to address chronic migraines or address bruxism.
In addition to its beautifying treatments, Botox injections can help you with many medical issues such as:
- Excessive Sweating
- Neck Spasms
- Overactive Bladder
- Eyelid Spasms
- Lazy Eye
- Painful Chronic Migraines
Therefore, in-depth and sufficient research on Botox treatment may provide a major breakthrough against this life-threatening disease. It is important to note that the paralyzing effect of this neurotoxin has already benefitted millions and counting!