Not easy to live life as cancer patients in general. To survive, they must regularly take medication and undergoing exhausting therapy. But over time, the cancer treatment paradigm is now beginning to shift to stress control methods based on psychotherapy.
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 one’s self-healing. Namely by paying attention to the body’s biological response.
Founder of Indonesian Psychoneuroimmunology Association (PPNII) Prof. Dr. Suhartono Taat Putra, dr., MS is of the utmost importance to include the psychotherapeutic component into cancer cure method. By way of balancing drug delivery with psychotherapy.
According to him, what is in the mind greatly affect one’s body resistance. “The patient’s body response is actually a reflection of his own mindset. Depending on how much motivation to heal, the more he rebelled, the less willing to accept the pain the worse his physical condition, “he explained.
A number of studies have concluded that when the cancer is overly stressed, the immune system gradually decreases. Unwittingly this inner turmoil will increase the number of cancer cells thus exacerbating the condition of the disease. This condition makes the body difficult to accept any form of therapy, so it takes a long time for healing.
Another case when cancer patients choose to always think positive, sincere, and occupy themselves with more useful activities. With this attitude then the impact of 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 Professor Obedient, fear and frustration in the minds of cancer patients is a form of reasonable response. As soon as the cancer begins to gnaw on a person’s life, it will take time for him to accept.
“If the stressor can be received in a positive way, the future impact will be much better. Examples are cancer survivors. With sincerity, their life becomes better, “he said.
From year to year, cancer patients in Indonesia are increasing. This is in line with changes in people’s lifestyles. Data Ministry of Health Republic of Indonesia (Riskesdas) 2013 recorded the number of cancer patients about 6 percent of the total population. While the prevalence of cancer patients in Indonesia reached 1.4 per 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 more aimed 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. This means that the end of therapy is actually still likely to leave the seeds of cancer is more virulent than adult cancer cells that die faster because of the influence of therapy.
Prof. Obedient assess conventional treatment 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.