September 29, 2023
Dr. med. Zubin Marolia
HUMAN CENTERED APPROACH IN TREATING CANCER:
At each stage of the cancer journey, focusing on the well-being of the patient must be given topmost priority.
The underlying thread tying all the treatment modalities together is the physician-patient partnership. It is a bond that is created by understanding the journey of the cancer patient. Starting from the medical interview where the patient narrates their story up till the physician devising a treatment protocol most suitable for that patient.
The patient’s perception of the disease needs to be given importance along with engaging them throughout the healing process. Doctors must make it a point to connect with their patients at all levels. These are the steps of understanding the cancer psyche. And this approach is known to have therapeutic value of its own.
The 3S concept (Suppression – Spontaneity – Spirit) highlights the emotional pathway and thought patterns observed in the Cancer patient.
In the past few years, medicine has seen a paradigm shift from the conventional disease-centric approach to now a more patient-centric approach. Ultimate integration can only be achieved when we learn how to apply what we see behind the lens of a microscope to who we see through the lens of a physician. Oncologists today must go that extra mile to bridge the gap between the cancer and the person suffering from it.
Sashank Nyapati, MS
Worldviews and Mental Health: A Scoping Review
Introduction: People understand the world through frameworks of meaning and meaning-making called ‘worldviews’. Each worldview is unique and varies across different domains, such as how one perceives reality, or the source from which one draws their identity. Each of these factors affects one’s mental health – some as risk and some as protective factors. People’s solutions, as well as their readiness to participate in the solutions to these issues are additionally shaped by their worldview. Despite the growing literature in this area, the connection between worldviews and mental health is still vague and has not been systematically scoped. This is potentially owing to the breadth and variation in the definition of the concept of worldview. This scoping review therefore aims to address this gap by first identifying worldviews formulated in the literature in relation to mental health – both positively and negatively; second, classifying these identified worldviews according to the IWF; and third, mapping the relationships between the IWF classified worldviews and mental health.
Methods: The databases that were searched include: Scopus, Embase, PsycINFO, and Sociological Abstracts. The search was conducted on 20-10-2022. Articles in English, Spanish, German and Dutch were included. Inclusion criteria: (1) literature describing worldviews in connection to mental health among any population around the world; (2) worldviews include at least three domains of the IWF, i.e., Ontology (reality), Epistemology (knowledge) and Axiology (values); and (3) both positive and negative mental health are considered, i.e., well-being, coping, stress-management as well as mental illness. An AI-aided screening tool – ASReview – was used in the screening process. Retrieval of full-text studies and data extraction will be conducted by two independent reviewers. Findings will be summarised in tabular form, accompanied by narrative text.
Results: The scoping review is ongoing and will be finished before September 2023. The results will provide the concept of worldview a much-needed framework, which will aid future research in this area.
One Patient Advocate’s journey using Natural approaches
Diagnosed with invasive lobular breast cancer in January 1993 just around the time women began speaking out about this epidemic, I knew nothing. It was prior to the Internet. The pathology report told me that it was slow-growing. Joining a support group taught me it was extraordinarily slow-growing.
I was suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and simply could not imagine chemotherapy. There were several reasons why this ‘choice’ did not appeal to me. Certainly, a slow-growing cancer, and a host who is chemically sensitive and responds oddly to all drugs, was probably not a good candidate, but this treatment was offered anyway.
The first choice was to buy and eat 100% organic food, after all nutrition aka eating, was the very first thing we all do after taking that first breath. I added one hour of stationery bike riding, and began taking dietary supplements. I made decisions on best existing evidence.
I founded a cancer nonprofit to share what I found. Over the years there were more small studies in the area of Natural cancer strategies. The Level I studies were still few and far between. As representatives of Big Pharma consistently told me, at conferences, they had no interest if it couldn’t be patented. I had the opposite view. I wanted to know as much as possible about anything that might help (and certainly anything that might help with LESS or even no harms).
I tried acupuncture, found that I loved it. Eventually I met with a Traditional Chinese herbalist and the prescriptions, with a before and after MRI, clearly showed that the cancer was gone (insofar as our limited ability to know).
Over the years I turned to Homeopathy for sleep problems. This was successful too, though it took a while to find the right combinations.
Recently I have begun using Mistletoe under the guidance of a Homeopath based in Mumbai.
As an Advocate, my goal is to help integrate the Traditional therapies and treatments into the US system (and Western medicine generally). It is important to our health and well-being.
I will talk about some of the steps I have taken to bring this information to the patient population, the medical field, and to researchers. I believe the methods for research need examination and I will explain why Level I evidence might not fit all strategies.