The treatment of cancer poses three concomitant ailments viz. the shock after knowing the diagnosis, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and cancer pain. This article will try to discuss each of them and its management through homeopathic medicines.
It is very common to have a patient in a mental state of shock and its aftereffects after being diagnosed of a cancer. There is a strong sense of approaching death leading to a mixed feeling state of fear, despair, hopelessness and sadness. Within no time, you suddenly shift to a permanently unhealthy state never to return back to your original health. The strong feeling of ‘why me?’ haunts the patient day and night, leading to a sense of guilt within.
ARNICA is the best remedy for such a mental shock, and I have used it often to relieve the state of sudden blow, when the patient least expected the diagnosis. There is a strong sense of being good for nothing in such patient, with a morose and hopeless feeling along with great apathy.
An ARSENIC ALB patient will be in a state of anguish with marked restlessness with fear of approaching death. The restlessness gets aggravated at night keeping the patient awake. Oversensitive mind with great melancholy and despair of recovery. Gets irritated at trifles, especially over untidiness around.
A patient needing ACID PHOS would be sitting quiet, with unwillingness to talk or discuss his health status. There is a strong apathy and indifference with strong reluctance to answer the questions. Hopeless state with a dread of anticipated crisis or death. There is a weeping mood at least stimuli.
ACONITE will be called in if the patient is in agonizing frightful anxious state with strong sense of death. He screams with fear and is afraid to get out of the house. It is a situation of emergency due to the state of panic and terror. There is a strong nervous state with typical prediction of death.
I have also seen remedies like SEPIA and AURUM MET working excellent to lift the mood of the patient from the sad and indifferent state. I also use certain Bach flower remedies like Aspen, Rock Rose, Wild Rose, Gorse, White Chestnut, or Rescue Remedy to relieve the acute panic and hopelessness.
CHEMOTHERAPY INDUCED NAUSEA AND VOMITING:
Chemotherapy-induced nausea vomiting can negatively affect the quality of life, making it hard for the patient to function in a normal manner on daily chores, often making him to consider stopping the chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment cycles. Almost 50-60% of the patient experience severe nausea and vomiting and rank it as the most disturbing side effect of the cancer therapy.
Along with remedial measures, the patient should follow a pattern of small and frequent meals. A dry toast or crackers can relieve the nausea. One should drink plenty of fluids throughout the day and avoid eating spicy and oily stuff.
Among the top-rated remedies for CINV, I have used – IPECAC, ARSENIC ALB, VERATRUM ALBUM, RADIUM BROM and COLCHICUM.
In case of colchicum, I have often found patient craving for aerated drinks [pepsi or coke] and alcohol [which obviously should not be provided]. There is a strong nauseating feeling on slightest smell of food. Patient craves a specific food but when offered, the smell gives rise to nausea, preventing him to enjoy or relish that.
The RADIUM BROM patient shows a strong feeling of nausea that is better by eating, just like in case of SEPIA; while the patient who needs VERAT ALB would complain of a strong nauseating feeling that is triggered by starting to eat, along with marked prostration.
THE PAIN RELIEF:
I often get patients that are in advanced or terminal stages, referred for the pain relief, especially due to the bone metastases. There is a severe bone pain that is relieved by nothing in particular. No specific position can relieve the pain and it gives rise to intense physical restlessness.
I had used various remedies for this bone pain – including ARNICA, RUTA, EUPATORIUM and RHUS TOX; but the most significant relief has been achieved with the administration of SYMPHYTUM in a mother tincture form.