With Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October came a new study that reveals some hopeful findings. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute recently published a study that links hypnosis to an improved breast cancer recovery period.
Researchers from Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City recruited 200 women and randomly assigned them to one control group and one group to undergo hypnosis. Women in the hypnosis group received a short 15-minute hypnosis session with a psychologist right before surgery was to be performed. Women in the control group received a 15-minute emotional support session from the same psychologist prior to their surgery.
The findings are very interesting. Women in the hypnosis group required significantly less medication during surgery than the women in the control group. Though the amount of pain medication taken after the surgery was the same between the control and hypnosis group, the women in the hypnosis group reported less pain, nausea, fatigue, and emotional upset than the women in the control group.
The women in the hypnosis group also spent less time on the operating table and ended up costing on average $770 less than the patients in the control group. With these kinds of findings, you can be sure that there will be further tests to record long-term effects of hypnosis on breast cancer patients.
Sonia Jakowler, director of the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Cell Biology Branch reacts to the study by saying, “If you can decrease the amount of pain using a technique such as hypnosis, and you can also at the same time reduce cost involved in treating these patients, I think it’s beneficial both ways.”
What do you think of the recent study linking hypnosis to an improved recovery period for breast cancer patients?
Do you think hospitals should consider having hypnosis sessions available to all breast cancer patients?