Introduction I have chosen cancer as a medical condition, which I have an interest in. I will explain what cancer is, the symptoms of the disease and treatments. I will go on to explain further chronic diseases the different changes it has on a individual’s life. The feeling of pain, and I will end my essay with the hypnotic techniques used to assist clients with chronic illnesses and cancer. What is Cancer Cancer is a disease caused by normal cells changing, so that they grow in abnormal and uncontrolled way. The uncontrolled growth of cells form a lump called tumour.
Once the tumour has become cancerous it can cause problems in the following ways: Spreading into normal tissues nearby Causing pressure on other body structures Spreading to other parts of the body through the Lymphatic system ( The lymphatic system is a system of thin tubes that runs throughout the body) or bloodstream. There are more than 200 different types of cancer. This is because there is more than 200 different types of cells in the body, and each cell can cause its own type of cancer, so in other words if someone has lung cancer, and the lungs have different cells.
A human beings body is made up of tiny microscopic sized cells. These cells are joined together to form tissues and organs. Therefore cells work as the building block of our body. Various types of cells in the body perform different tasks, however they are practically similar. A cell has a centre called nucleus, and inside the nucleus are the genes. Genes function like codes who carry information. Its the genes which control the cell, the genes decide when a cell will reproduce, what task it has and when it will die. The genes would regulate cell growth, and reproduce in a orderly and controlled way.
When the system goes wrong for any reasons, this would result in the cells dying. In majority of the times this does not necessary lead to a cancerous cells, but in rare situation the system can go wrong in a way that allows the cells to keep on dividing until a lump called tumour is formed. Benign and Malignant tumours A tumour can be benign or malignant. Benign means that the tumour is not cancerous, they usually grow quit slowly, do not spread to other parts of the body and usually have a covering made up of normal cells.
Malignant tumours are made up of cancer cells. These cancerous cells grow faster than benign tumours, they spread and destroy surrounding tissues and spread to other parts of the body. It is this very ability to spread that makes cancer so harmful to the human body. When cancer is not treated it can spread into the organs near where it’s growing, along with spreading and destroying other parts of the body. Below is a diagram showing how a malignant tumour can break through the basement of membrane and spread to other parts:
divergent cancer cells can behave very different, and they can also break away from the main tumour and spread into the body by travelling in the bloodstream or lymphatic as mentioned earlier. As this happens, the cells can start growing into new tumours, cancerous tumours which has spread is called metastases. Symptoms depending on where in the body the cancer is, it would exhibit different types of symptoms, for example; if the cancerous tumour is pressing against a nerve, or against a body organ. It also causes symptoms by releasing chemicals or hormones into the bloodstream.
Example of cancer symptoms : A lump somewhere on your body changes in a mole on your skin a cough or hoarseness that wont go away a change in bowel habits difficulties swallowing or continued indigestion any abnormal bleeding A sore or ulcer that wont heal difficulty passing urine unexplained weight loss/pain feeling tired all the time Its important to note that these symptoms can come from minor and less serious illnesses, but at the same time to take these symptoms serious, and seek medical attention, as cancer is best treated at early stages. Treatment.
There are many cancer drugs available to people with cancer. These cancer drugs can be taking in combinations. The different treatment options could be; chemotherapy, hormone therapies, biological therapies and bisphosphonates, Radiotherapy, transplant, surgery and other complementary and alternative therapies. The various cancer treatment and drugs all have side effects, these side effect depending on which treatment the client is on, could be; sickness, hair loss and hair thinning, tiredness, digestive system, nerve problems, sex/fertility and mouth problems etc. Chronic Illness.
Chronic illnesses can be permanent or long lasting, it can also be progressive. Most chronic illnesses could lead to death or severe disability. The impact it can have on a individual’s life can be major and it can change the quality of a persons life. Chronic disease could cause permanent changes to the human body, the treatments could be complicated, and are rarely completely cured. Although the list of chronic illnesses is long, I have given few examples of chronic conditions below: HIV/AIDS Diabetes Cardio-Vascular conditions ( Coronary heart disease, Stroke) Epilepsy.
Arthritis Auto-immune disorders e. g. Crohn’s Disease Cancer Asthma and chronic pulmonary obstructive disorder many neurological conditions (Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease) Due to the breakthrough and innovate research development done in the field of medicine, has enabled the life expectancy of people with chronic illnesses to increase. To properly treat chronic disease, there has to be an organised multidisciplinary care team, which is very expensive thing to do, and takes up a large proportion of the health budget of many countries.
Living with chronic disease can effects an individual financially, crises of care or inappropriate living environments. These changes can be an obstacle for the individual improving and sustaining improvement both physical and emotional well being. To assist a client with chronic disease, its vital to highlight and understand the psychological and physical effects of living with the constant insecurity, changes, and loss that chronic diseases brings. The effects chronic diseases has on an individual can be categories into practical changes, personal changes or emotional changes. These are explained further below:
Practical changes: Changes to the surrounding environment due to the change in mobility, changes to mode of transport, changes in ability to perform the tasks of daily living, changes in financial position, changes to employment or career etc. Personal changes: Ability to carry day-to-day personal care, ability to perform tasks or go out alone, possible stigmas of some conditions, effects on intimate relationships, change in desired or expected future, change in the way a person sees themselves in relation to others in the workplace and within the family, changes in goals and dreams etc.
Emotional changes: Loss and associated grief, anger, insecurity, loss of independence, depression, denial, hopelessness, feelings of being a burden, feeling of being a failure, anxiety, fear, dealing with emotions of others, low self esteem, confusion, worthlessness, isolation etc. The list above is not comprehensive and is only example of varies changes that possibly could be experienced by the individual but not necessary. As a therapist it is important to be aware of these changes that a client with chronic illnesses will experience.
It is also vital to gather enough information about the clients conditions, so that the therapist is knowledgeable about the condition, The therapist should not only be aware of any physical and psychological changes to the client, but also the possible outcome in the future for the client. Although there are individuals who upon receiving the news of chronic disease, remain optimistic attitude and manage to turn their life around in positive way, there are some who remain in denial about their condition they are diagnosed with.
The process of denial is a psychological protection that enables the person to accept reality in doses that are feasible, but in some cases denial can be detrimental to the persons health. Feeling of failure is also present for some people who live with chronic disease, as they see the conditions as a failure, there will also be present the feeling of anger, and the need to find reasons for the onset of the conditions, whether its environmental factors, lifestyle or hereditary.
Depression can manifest itself as well as the person could be dealing with the feeling or thought of loosing hope due to the uncertainty and anxiety around the conditions. Hypnosis can be used in many ways to assist and help clients with chronic illnesses. There is increased interest in the use of hypnosis as a complementary treatments for cancer patients, but it should never be used as a cure or replacement for medical intervention. Besides the side effects of chemotherapy, which can cause nausea and other self-esteem reducing side effects.
Pain can also be a problem to some clients, either acute pain caused by the tumour or chronic pain caused by surgery. The individual can experience state of discomfort. Pain is used by the body as a warning that all is not right within the physical body, therefore although pain is unpleasant feeling, its vital and essential that it’s there. Otherwise we would be unaware of damage to the skin tissue and symptoms of illnesses, which could be very dangerous, will go unnoticed by the individual. A feeling which is usually experienced by cancer patients; is fear.
Fear of pain or treatments, fear of death and the how family and loved ones will cope with it. As a therapist who is assisting a client with cancer diagnose, its important to be confident enough to be able to deal with the traumatic experience. The therapist has to be able to exhibit solid and grounded understanding of life and death. Bearing in mind the client is not there to get sympathy but to be able to live as pleasant and normal life as possible with their condition. Hypnotherapeutic intervention can be used with cancer patients in several ways:
Pain control Symptom control from treatment hypnoalaysis can be employed to help the resolution of past events that are still effecting the person. This should only be done if the therapist has the appropriate skills to support this emotionally taxing process and if the client has the necessary emotional and physical reserves to see them through the process Therapeutic support can aid the client to achieve a positive state of mind and increase motivation. Self-hypnosis can be taught to empower and help the client in the future.
The feelings of independence that this creates can greatly improve self-esteem. 7sleep difficulties can be addressed and coping strategies can be put in place. Reduction of anxiety Acceptance of the condition For a therapist with the correct skills and experience there are interesting possibilities for cancer patients in the field of group relaxations and group discussion work. As a therapist is important to note that the perception of pain is individual one and you wont be able to assist everyone, we cant assume the client will be able to relax continually.
Pain causes the person to tense up, and if the individual is tense, it makes it more difficult to employ pain reduction strategies. Being aware of the possibility of pain can prevent the build up tension. Hypnosis NLP can also be used on assisting client with cancer. , by giving the pain a personality, locating the pain and asking the client what the pain looks like (the shape and colour), enables the client to focus on it and to give it a movement.