What is Cancer?
Human body is made up of living cells, which grow and multiply in a steady controlled rate. When some of these cells stop functioning normally and starts multiplying uncontrollably, they form growths called tumours. Tumours can be benign or malignant. A benign tumour is not cancerous as it just crowds out healthy cells. A malignant tumour is cancerous as it invades nearby tissues and organs and spreads to other parts to form new tumours. Cancer is essentially the unregulated multiplication of cells in the body. Cancer can happen in almost every organ of the body.
How widespread is Cancer?
According to Ministry of Health, Singapore Health Facts, Principal Causes of Death, updated 1 Sep 2015, cancer is the number one cause of death in Singapore, 1 in 3 Singaporeans dies of cancer, 16 people die of cancer every day and 37 people are diagnosed with cancer every day.
Data from the World Health Organization indicates that each year there are nearly 4 million new cancer cases. These cancers occur in people of all ages, races and affect both genders.
How does Cancer harms the patient?
When there is proliferation of cancer cells in an unregulated manner, it destroys vital tissues and organs. It prevents the body cells or organs from functioning properly. Almost every organ in the body can be affected. For example, patient may not feel hungry or they may experience pain because the cancer is invading the pain nerves.
Cancer cells also released a large number of hormone-like substances which affect temperature, blood pressure, growth and electrolytes. It can compress adjacent organs like nerves, blood vessels, the eye, or brain tissue.
It can also suppress the immune system and make the body more prone to infections.
It can spread and once this happens it is most likely incurable. In those cases, healthcare practitioners usually try and make the patient’s life comfortable and pain free for as long as possible.
What are the common traditional types of treatment for Cancer?
Surgery has been used to treat cancer for many, many years. Surgery also plays a key role in diagnosing cancer and finding out how far it may have spread. Surgery offers the greatest chance for a cure for many types of cancer, especially those that have not spread to other parts of the body.
- Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy uses high-energy particles or waves to destroy or damage cancer cells. It is one of the most common treatments for cancer, either by itself or along with other forms of treatment.
Chemotherapy is the use of strong drugs to treat cancer. More often, it’s part of a treatment plan that can include surgery and radiation therapy. It may be used to:
I. Keep the cancer from spreading.
II. Slow the cancer’s growth.
III. Kill cancer cells that may have spread to other parts of the body.
IV. Relieve symptoms such as pain or blockages caused by cancer.
V. Cure cancer.
What are the Side Effects of Cancer Treatments?
Cancer treatments can cause many complications such as unbearable pain caused by the treatment or the cancer itself, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, breathing difficulty, loss of body weight, diarrhea, anemia, Lymphedema, infections and other nerve related problems.
Emotional side effects include feeling of shock, disbelief, fear, anxiety, guilt, sadness, grief, depression, anger, and more. Family members, friends and especially the caregivers also suffer similar emotional effects.
Hypnosis can help but what exactly is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a state of altered consciousness, a purely natural condition associated with increased awareness when you have the capacity to calmly focus deeply and effectively; a mental state of focus that enable you to uncritically accept positive suggestions in the subconscious or unconscious level.
In the hypnotic state, your subconscious and/or unconscious minds can be engaged allowing for new information to be accepted by you and to create positive changes, like feeling more comfortable, becoming more positive, and etc.
Hypnosis has been used successfully for the following challenges:
- Weight Management
- Reduce Stress
- Allaying Fear & Anxiety
- Improve Self-Confidence
- Sleep Better
- Quit Smoking
- Stop Bad habits
- Improve Concentration
- Improve Mood
- Improve Sales Performance
- Improve Sports Performance
- Anger Management
- Relationship Issues
- Overcome Stage Fright
- And, more…
For cancer patients, hypnosis has proven to be extremely effective in helping patient, during treatment, to:
- Establish rapport between patient and members of the medical team.
- Manage pain and reduce discomfort.
- Allay fear and anxiety
- Control symptoms, such as, nausea, anticipatory emesis, learned food aversions, etc.
- Reduce feeling of depression, guilt, anger, hostility, frustration, and loneliness.
- Maintain self-confidence, optimism and self-esteem.
- Minimize unpleasant side effects of treatment.
- Have better sleep and more comfort.
Are there Clinical Evidences that Hypnosis is Effective for Cancer Patients?
Yes, in the last decade, a number of clinical trials have revealed the beneficial effects of hypnosis in patients with cancer. Several studies in patients with breast, bone, and other cancers have shown that hypnosis can significantly reduce pain and also shorten the duration of pain.
In addition, the majority of these controlled clinical trials showed that unlike pharmaceutical medications, patients treated with hypnosis did not develop adverse effects like nausea, vomiting, or constipation (common adverse effects of pain medications).
Lang and colleagues studied 236 women undergoing large core image-guided breast biopsy. Patients randomized to receive hypnosis had lower levels of anxiety and pain during the procedure than patients who received standard care.
More importantly there was a significant reduction in cost to the healthcare facility and patients when treatments were administered together with hypnosis.
In addition, data from eight randomized controlled trials demonstrated positive outcomes in clinical hypnosis for management of pain even in children with cancer.
Overall, hypnosis not only lowers the tremendous pain suffered by the cancer patient, it provides best quality and quantity of life for them.
Hypnosis is not only effective for cancer patients; it is an absolutely necessary complement to any cancer treatment!
For cancer patient, the most important priority is to have the cancer treated. Currently available treatments of cancer are usually very devastating to the patient’s body systems.
Hypnosis provides that vital and powerful complement to cancer treatments by providing pain relief, minimizing side-effects of the treatment, controlling uncomfortable symptoms resulted from treatment, reducing emotional distress, enhancing optimism and self-confidence and installing a positive metal attitude that is critical for recovery. For terminal cases, hypnosis gives hopes of the best quality and quantity of life for the cancer patient during the final journey of their life.
Hypnosis does not cure cancer by itself but it definitely enhances the effectiveness of any cancer treatment. Caregivers of cancer patients will also benefit from reduced emotional, mental and physical distresses when the patient is feeling more comfortable.
At Mindlife Hypnotherapy, we can help you improve your quality of life. Your journey to better health, well-being and performance can begin anytime now. Our Professional Consulting Hypnotist will support you all the way on your journey to a better future.