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Cure In Cancer: Effective Treatment, Rebuilding Health, Promote Healing, and Converting Adversity to Strength

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Dr Kumara Swamy

The brain’s capability to modulate peripheral immune reactivity has been demonstrated by paradigms of behavioural conditioning in animal and human studies.                             

  - Gustavo Pacheco-López, et al., Chair of Psychology and Behavioral Immunobiology, Institute for Behavioral Sciences, Switzerland. Brain Behav Immun. (2006)

Will I be cured of cancer?

Answer is….YES… if the question is asked to yourself (self-assurance). Because this would be the thought process to improve the possibility of a cure for you. Given below are the techniques to adapt to make this a reality. 

There are several reasons why this question cannot be asked to doctors or others.

  1. Science knows the probability for the group, but not precisely what happens for the individuals like you. It is impossible to predict with certainty by any doctor (including for himself) precisely whether cancer will disappear or not. If you pose a question, Will I be cured?, even several times to several doctors the answer will be the same – One cannot say with certainty. And each time, you will be disappointed more and more. Even if somebody assures you that you are cured, it is just to make you feel better for some time (this external support lasts until you are left alone with your internal thought process).
  2. A doctor can answer the question, definitely, in terms of the probability of cure. Whether cure probability is very high (>90% of patients), high (>60%), medium (40% to 60%), low (20 to 40%), or meager (<20%). But then the natural tendency is to worry about the possibility of the percentage where cure is not present, and this is not much of help either in calming your mind.
  3. Even if the subsequent scans turn out that the cancer is gone, it’s the first step, and one needs to wait 3 to 5 years to conclude that you have reached safer land. The conventional definition of cancer cure is, reaching 5 years without cancer coming back. In conclusion, please believe & feel cured, and the question, will I be cured? is self-upsetting. Remember that better treatment can come anytime in the future, and buying time itself is a positive situation. 

Gleevec story: In 1998, those with a type of blood cancer were told that chances of getting better are not there. In that desperate situation, they enrolled themselves in a new drug trial. Many of them are living even today.

What are the self-techniques to improve the cure in cancer?

1.The first thing getting affected without a definite answer from doctors about the cure is loss of motivation. Motivation to prepare for a possible prolonged duration of therapy, motivation to take the necessary treatment, motivation to schedule the prescribed therapy, and motivation to keep oneself busy by participating in family needs and being at work as permissible are the first essential parts. It also keeps away the creeping depression.

2.Start activity and exercise as advised by the physiotherapist. Walking is the most extraordinary diversion, keeps up general health, and is a mild to moderate anti-depression.

3.Mind and confidence: Building up self-confidence and streamlining the thought process is the most essential and challenging part.

  1. It is natural for “wild” thoughts to sneak in at this time. It is essential to be very realistic about what the treatment team & family can do for you; the need for patience about not-so-perfect things happening around you as per your wish (positive tolerance) is part of the healing process in cancer. Keep the thought within the reality of human and therapy limitations. Acceptance of the limits of the “reality” and not depending on external assurance (but of self-assurance) is the primary step towards curing cancer. 

  1. The power of the subconscious mind - Reinforcement of conscious learning using hidden brain states supported by reality-confidence (see Figure): We continuously perceive, analyze and react to our reality at the conscious level. Yet much of day-to-day brain activity and response is at the level of subconscious reflex actions. When there is conflict/dilemma in the mind, subconscious actions become confused. Such a situation causes the weakening of our “central security force” and releases stress hormones which exaggerate all our diseases enormously, if not cause it. The most vital road to cure cancer is sending confident signals to the subconscious mind day in and day out. It is normal to have a dilemma, getting upset, feeling low, cry out frustration, etc., but the early resolution of the dilemma is critical. The subconscious mind is a powerful storehouse of “internal” pharmacy with several feel-good and get-well chemicals and hormones. And only “you are allowed” to make use of it. And it works and supports even when you are asleep!!!

   

  1. Belief/conviction/confidence: This is part of the decision process of the mind that is under your conscious control. A significant portion of our repetitive, habitual actions is through the subconscious mind, without a conscious thought process, removing a mountain of stress from our life. Underneath the convictions and beliefs, the subconscious mind is like a rock-hard foundation. As mentioned earlier, the subconscious mind is also considered a storehouse for an “internal drug formulary,” releasing feel-good hormones, neurochemicals that heal the body, NK cell activation chemicals that kill the cancer cells directed by belief, conviction, and confidence. Wild fear of the conscious mind disturbs and makes the subconscious mind dysfunctional and releases stress hormones that can aggravate all the diseases from infection to diabetes. Stress is healthy, but stress without conviction and belief of reality, through an unsettled subconscious mind (un-coped stress), turns out against the cure in cancer. The Figure below shows the interconnected 3 levels of the scope of the simple functioning of the mind.

The Figure below shows how the Natural killer cells (NK cells) destroy the cancer cells generally in the body. 

  

  1. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Positive Modification of Thought (PMT)
  • It is vital to get counselling by a psycho-oncologist (psychologist dealing with cancer diagnosis discussion, adhering to therapy, and post-treatment psychological adjustment for patients and family members) to improve the possibility of cure in cancer. One strategy you can continuously keep with and reinforce every minute is replacing “wild” thoughts with positive thoughts of purpose in your life, “thoughts” of things you want to happen from cure to family obligations. Worrying thoughts coming to your mind, especially during the middle of the night, cannot be stopped but can be replaced. The simplest form of CBT technique is a positive modification of thought (PMT). This persistence, in turn, makes the subconscious mind stronger gradually

  • Images speak thousands of words. One can select an image in the brain and visualize it repeatedly and continuously (visualization with strong belief & conviction).  It can be spiritual or an event one is looking for in the near and far future (e.g., marriage/graduation ceremony of the child/grandchild, including cure from cancer, a place always wanted to visit, etc.). The technique is called creative visualization. The Figure below shows practical steps and needs of creative visualization.

  • Acceptance of limitation leads to good interaction with people around (I’m OK-YOU’RE OK by Dr. Thomas Harris), leading to secretion of healing hormones by the subconscious mind. Feeling good to others around is altruism, which is another powerful healing system.
  • Big things occasionally happen in life. There is a lot of fun in getting interested in small things around. Humans have the phenomenal ability to perceive the universe, and we miss appreciating even daily fascinations like sunrise and sunset. Converge the energy to enjoy “now” that is under our control to declutter the subconscious mind. 

In the Figure below, some books are recommended, which might facilitate the same.

Table: Importance of reality, Subconscious mind, and belief in cancer cure

“Wild” thoughts beyond reality

Guided Thoughts (Guided Imagery) – CBT & PMT

Spontaneous, uncontrolled, and beyond reality

Can Replace wild thoughts

Uncontrolled fear and even panic

Confidence building, acceptance of fear (controlled fear is the inherent safety mechanism for living beings survival)

Creeping depression

Generates resilience to handle the crisis of diagnosis and treatment

Stress becomes difficult to bear

Able to cope with the stress which is healthy (stress-well-coped brings out the best within us)

Agitates the mind about the things beyond our control

Selects the situation to handle which is within our control and leave the rest

Quality of life is terrible

Good quality of remaining part of life, however short or long it is.

Destroys motivation for everything

Eternal Spring” for enhancing motivation

Bad day to day feelings of life, after the diagnosis

Life can be improved to be better than before the diagnosis, especially after completing the treatment, to go“beyond normal resilience” – an intense desire to be better by the day.  Opportunity to develop a more comprehensive view of life.

Slippery opportunities 

Develop a strong purpose within, for the self and that of family, both short-term and long-term future.

Inactivates body immune system by confusing agitating the subconscious mind

Activates NK cells which kill a small number of cancer cells remaining after treatment and prevents cancer cells from cropping up further (one purpose of therapy is to reduce the number of cancer cells to the level that NK cells can eliminate).

 

  1. Finally, completing the therapy is not enough. In diabetes and hypertension, just taking the drug is not enough. Focussing on lifestyle is as important as therapy for cancer cure. There is no specific cause for cancer like malaria or tuberculosis. We know factors (called risk factors) that improve the chances of cure in cancer. One cannot underestimate the power of the 5 mentioned in the Figure below. 

Final word: Improving motivation is the ultimate weapon in cancer cure, and a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. is very apt here.

Cancer Therapy India provides the best hospital for cancer treatment in India and comprehensive cancer care with the best treatment facilities in India. The Department of Medical Oncology has an expert team of oncologists examining every case jointly and deciding on the best line of cancer treatment for the patient. 

Cancer Therapy India is associated with the best cancer hospital in India, having an expert team of oncologists and cancer specialists in Bangalore who work together in areas of expertise to provide the highest level of patient care. Cancer Therapy India aims to improve the overall quality of life for cancer patients and for their families, by providing cancer treatment in Bangalore

 

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Dr Kumara Swamy

Senior Consultant and Head - Radiation Oncology

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