Botox has become synonymous with beauty and health. From wrinkles to worries to better pain management, Botox treatment has become a ‘go to solution’ for doctors as well as patients. It has become a top choice for its swift, non-invasive nature and is ideally a modern alternative. But can it treat cancer?
Botox Remains High In Demand For Beauty
Cosmetic injections have been found to be both safe and effective. This non surgical treatment is becoming a more common and popular method for achieving:
- Anti Ageing goals
- Facial harmony and balance
- Improve self esteem
A Better Alternative To Medications & Surgical Procedures
Anti-wrinkle injections are also commonly used to treat a number of medical concerns such as:
- Chronic headaches
- Painful Teeth Grinding
- Excessive sweating
- Overactive bladder
The ultimate goal is to increase a patient’s self-esteem and quality of life.
What Is Botox?
Some call it ‘Fountain Of Youth’, while others know it as a ‘Wonder Drug’ for crippling diseases. However, the technical name for Botox is Botulinum toxin A.
This injectable substance is making rounds for its powerful effect against wrinkles, fine lines, as well as its ability to rejuvenate your entire look.
Moreover, a few shots of Botox can help you manage your unbearable migraine spells or treat those annoying teeth grinding. Both practitioners and their clients recognize the value of this drug for all the right reasons.
What Makes Botox So Popular?
Thanks to ongoing research in aesthetic medicine, medical science and technology, Botox has been able to take over riskier surgeries, prescriptions involving side effects and a number of other inefficient 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, and patients can return to work without any delay.
- It also offers visible results to the patients 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 side effects are involved in the treatments
- Patients usually report their complete satisfaction with their results.
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?
With the research still in early stages, scientists are using Botox to block the path of nerve signals from the nervous system, responsible for cancerous cells growth.
The research focused the potential link between the body’s nervous system and the development of a 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.
Several media outlets have shed light on this jaw dropping news on anti wrinkle injections. However, the research is still ongoing on the efficacy of Botox.
According to the Irish Independent, Botox, which is derived from the toxin of botulinum bacteria, proved “extremely successful” in laboratory experiments at suppressing stomach cancer in mice.
Botox injections – better known for their face-freezing properties – ‘could be used to treat stomach cancer’. The Irish Independent’s headline even went so far as to say it was a ‘highly effective’ treatment.
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.
UK’s Top Medical Expert Is Hopeful Too
Professor Mark Pritchard of Liverpool University spoke with one of the UK’s finest gastroenterologists about the broader picture and whether this research could one day benefit patients.
The majority of stomach cancers are connected to H pylori, an infection that can set off a complicated chain of events that can lead to cancer in some people.
Multiple studies have found that brain signals switched on incorrectly by H pylori stimulate a tiny group of cells in the stomach called stem cells, which then grow into cancer.
Human’s Nerves May Play A Role In Causing Stomach Cancer
The Vagus Nerve
Your stomach is always in contact with your brain via the vagus nerve. It is a lengthy ‘cable’ that sends out subconscious messages to your gut, telling it to contract, release acid, and so on. At the same time, it sends the state of your stomach to your brain.
Vagotomy For Treating Stomach Lining Inflammation
Instead of being treated with antibiotics, patients with stomach and duodenal ulcers were occasionally treated with a vagotomy, which included cutting the vagus nerve.
A thorough study in the early 1980s compared the risk of stomach cancer in people with ulcers who had a vagotomy versus those who hadn’t. Though the patients reported no immediate benefit after the treatment, patients reported a significant decline in their risk of stomach cancer after a decade.
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. 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.
Role Of Botox Against 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.
What Makes Scientists So Hopeful?
According to media reports, scientists have observed a 35% rise in survival rates when Botox works in combination with chemotherapy.
According to researchers, botox may help make cancer patients more responsive to cancer treatment.
This might result in a faster recovery for the patient as well as a better chance of eliminating the tumour.
Botox Treatment May Still Be A Ray Of Hope
On the other hand, Botox can be used to enhance chemotherapy for cancer patients who have either untreatable stomach cancer.
Moreover, Botox may be helpful to those patients who:
- No longer respond to standard cancer therapies such as chemotherapy
- Unable to receive chemotherapy
- Patients who do not want to receive chemotherapy
Further Studies & Research On Botox Treatment Is Needed
Investigations and developments in this area are indeed encouraging. However, there is a need to probe the role of Botulinum Toxin treatments even more against the growth of cancerous cells.
Furthermore, scientists also need to look into the efficacy of Botox in supplementing or enhancing the cancer therapies such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
The discoveries could open up new avenues for treating stomach cancer and other cancers.
Botox For Better Pain Management In Head & Neck Cancer
Head and neck cancer, along with its treatment, can cause neuromuscular, musculoskeletal pain, as well as functional complications.
Common symptoms linked to head and neck cancer are:
- Neck discomfort and spasm
- Hemifacial spasm
- Neuropathic pain
- Salivary abnormalities such as first bite syndrome
Head & Neck Cancer Treatment Complications
Post-Surgical Side Effects
Surgical procedures for head and neck cancer have improved in recent years with lower chances of major side effects. However, even today, there are many cases in which vital neuromuscular systems are harmed quite often.
The spinal accessory nerve is one of them. Moreover, the sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscles typically endure pain and spasms when the spinal accessory nerve is affected.
Side Effects Of Radiotherapy
One of the most commonly used treatments to treat a variety of head and neck cancers is radiation.
Unfortunately, there have been several reports according to which, many patients reported to have developed radiation fibrosis due to frequent exposure to radiation.
It is a term used to describe the gradual pathologic fibrotic tissue sclerosis that develops due to radiation exposure.
Moreover, radiation fibrosis syndrome can affect any organ, system, or bodily function. It can, in other words, seriously impact normal routine as well as the quality of life of the person.
Role Of Botox For Head & Neck Cancer Treatment
Doctors are hoping to find a practical and promising role of this non surgical treatment against head and neck cancer.
Botox works by presynaptic suppression of acetylcholine and other neurotransmitters. Upon injecting the muscle relaxant into the target muscles, patients have witnessed various therapeutic benefits.
In this case, Botox may also enhance standard cancer treatments.
Therapists may prescribe a combination of medicines, splints/braces, and physiotherapy in addition to Botox to help patients better manage their pain and make quick recovery too.
Botox — Bringing Breast Cancer Survivors Back To Life
As studies and researches are underway on the potentials of Botox treatment against cancer, many breast cancer thrivers are benefitting from Botox.
After going through such a difficult phase of cancer treatment, a breast cancer survivor’s challenges in life are not entirely over.
Breast cancer patients have to endure all kinds of issues such as:
- Decreased collagen levels
- Rapid Weight Loss
- Ageing lines and wrinkles
Botox, along with dermal fillers, are effective non-invasive solutions, especially for such patients. Botox treatments have shown remarkable improvements in the physical appearance of the patients.
Most importantly, these survivors have reported to be experiencing a boost in their morale as well confidence to start a new life after cancer.
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 becoming a thing of the past due to cosmetic injectables. 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
Researchers Are Inching Closer On Botox Treatment
Botox has travelled quite a distance. From relaxing wrinkles and fine lines to delaying major signs of ageing, it just keeps getting bigger and better.
Today, due to Botox’s therapeutic qualities it is considered a practical solution for many medical issues such as teeth grinding or chronic migraines.
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
We Are Not Far Away!
Revolutionary innovations and discoveries made by humans for humans are of great importance. Such developments not only address some of the crippling diseases but also lead to further developments.
Botox has so far not disappointed mankind. From beauty to medical ailments, it continues to expand its clout of influence. In the area of oncology, more study and research can benefit millions if not the entire planet.
Is this anti wrinkle drug going to become the next breakthrough against this life threatening disease?
Can Botox treatment help humans to win the battle against disease as morbid as cancer?
Let us know what are your thoughts and expectations about this ongoing development!