UNAIR NEWS – It is not easy to live a life with cancer. To hang on, they must regularly take medication and undergo exhausting therapy. But over time, cancer treatment paradigm is now beginning to shift in psychotherapy, based on stress control methods.
The success of diagnosis and administration of drugs was not enough to improve the quality of life of cancer patients. There are other components that are known to be very influential in supporting healing such as by paying attention to the body’s biological response.
Founder of Indonesian Psychoneuroimmunology Association (PPNII) Prof. Dr. Suhartono Taat Putra, dr., MS believed that it is important to include the psychotherapeutic component into cancer healing methods by balancing the administration of drugs with psychotherapy.
According to him, what is in the mind greatly affect body resistance. “The patient’s body response is actually a reflection of his own mind. Depending on how much motivation to heal. The more he rebelled, the less willing to accept the condition, the worse his physical condition, “he explained.
A number of studies have concluded that when the cancer is overly stressed, the body’s resistance gradually decreases. This inner turmoil will increase the number of cancer cells that aggravate the condition of the patient. This condition makes the body difficult to accept any form of therapy, so it takes a long time for healing.
On the other hand, when cancer patients choose to always think positive, sincere, and occupy themselves with more useful activities, the endurance will be better.
“This response can suppress the growth rate of cancer cells, although it is not easy to kill completely cancer cells,” he said.
According to Prof. Taat, fear and frustration in the minds of cancer patients is a reasonable response. As soon as the cancer begins to gnaw on a person’s life, it is time for him to accept.
“If the stress factors can be received in a positive way, the effect will be much better. For example, what happen to cancer survivors. With surrender, their life becomes better, “he said.
Year by year, cancer patients in Indonesia are increasing. This is in line with changes in people’s lifestyles. Data from Ministry of Health Republic Indonesia (Riskesdas) 2013 noted, the number of cancer patients reached 6 percent of the total population. While the prevalence of cancer patients in Indonesia reached 1.4 in 1,000 population.
Along with the development of medical technology, therapy methods for cancer patients continue to grow. Ranging from radiation therapy to using special treatment methods to fight cancer cells.
However, a study that explored the potential for cancer therapy showed surprising results. In the study mentioned, the cancer treatment response is aimed more at killing cancer cells, although efforts have been made to reduce side effects against normal cells.
Combination treatment that has been given for cancer patients is known only to kill adult cancer cells. While cancer stem cells still survive in the body. So, the end result of therapy is actually still likely to leave the more virulent seeds of cancer than adult cancer cells that die faster because of the influence of therapy.
Prof. Taat viewed that conventional medicine does not fully guarantee healing. Although no studies have concluded how much psychotherapy affects lowering the number of cancer cells, medical treatment needs to be balanced with psychotherapy. (*)
Author: Sefya Hayu Istighfaricha
Editor: Binti Q. Masruroh