Pain & Palliative Care in Homeopathy

cancerA study on the Effectiveness of Homeopathic Medicines in the Management of Pain in Cancer
Dr Rithesh B

I would like to express my sincere thanks to my respected teacher and guide Dr.T.AbduRahiman, Principal, Govt. Homoeopathic Medical College, Kozhikode for his valuable guidance and constant encouragement given to me throughout my post-graduation course and necessary directions in the preparation of this thesis.

I am very grateful to Dr.Suresh, (Director, Pain & Palliative clinic Medical college, Kozhikode) for his favorable suggestions in the conduction of this study particularly regarding assessment criterias..

I am deeply indebted to Dr.K.L.Babu,, Reader, Dept. of Organon of medicine, Govt. Homoeopathic Medical College, Kozhikode, who admitted sufficient number of cases for the study and for his informative suggestions and guidance which helped me to complete this work..

I sincerely thank Mr.P.I.Narayanan, MSc.D.H.S, Retired Associate Professor, Department of Biostatistics, Medical College, Kozhikode for conducting the analysis of this work..

I extend my gratitude to my colleagues and to the staff of various departments of this college for their sincere co-operation.

The gratitude I owe to my wife Dr.Narda cannot be expressed in words, without her constant encouragement and co-operation this work couldn’t have been possible.

Finally I owe my unlimited indebtedness to all my patients involved in this study for their co-operation, without which this study would not have been possible.

Last but not the least I thank almighty God for giving me the strength and perseverance to fulfill the project.                                                                – Dr. Rithesh.B                                               

Cancer is a common and widely publicized disease, and in spite of ever increasing effort to understand it as a process, its incidence in the population is rising. The main reason for this is the close correlation of the number of cancer cases with the increasing age of the patients and the number of more aged people in the western society (and also in Kerala) at least is rising .It used to be suggested that same aspect of the ageing process increased the susceptibility to cancer, perhaps by impairing immune surveillance .However it is now generally accepted that the relationship of many cancer cases to increasing age is rather a reflection of time required to accumulate a critical number of genetic abnormalities for cancer to arise .Cancer may affect any organ or tissue ,but while some cancer are common, Eg; lung ,breast, gut, prostate, others are very rare ,those affecting the young people often being amongst the rarest .In particular ,cancer affect epithelial tissue and over a 99% of tumor are derived from this tissue .This is not surprising since many of the known cancer causing agents (carcinogens) are from natural radiation. In the air we breathe and from the food stuff we ingest, and epithelial cells are the first line of defense to the outside world, in the skin, lung, and gastrointestinal tract1 

The prevalence of acute and chronic cancer pain and the profound psychological and physical burdens engendered by this symptom oblige all treating physician to be skilled in pain management.2

Since homoeopathic treatment has found to be effective in managing cancer pain, and since a scientific study on this subject is not known to be conducted, an attempt is made to evaluate the effectiveness of homoeopathic medicines with appropriate statistical analysis. A prospective study is conducted by studying the cancer patient with pain attending the out patient and in patient department of Govt. Homoeopathic medical college, Calicut. The patients are assessed at the time of consultation using, Pain rating scale, Degree of distress score and performance status score to rate the pain and quality of life.

Even though the aim of study is palliation of pain, cases are taken according to homoeopathic philosophy giving importance to the general symptoms .The selection of medicine are also based on the homoeopathic philosophy giving more importance to the general symptoms and if case demands taking sectoral totality of pain giving importance to its modifying factors and the characteristics of pain. Miasmatic aspect of the cases are studied and given due importance in the selection of medicine. 

To assess the efficacy of homoeopathic treatment in the management of pain in cancer.

Review of Literature
Neoplasia literally means ‘the process of new growth’ and a new growth is called “neoplasm”. However all new growth are not neoplasms, since examples of new growth of tissues and cells also exist in the process of embryogenesis, regeneration and repair, hyperplasia and hormonal stimulation. There fore a satisfactory definition of neoplasm or tumor is “a mass of tissue formed as a result of abnormal, excessive, uncoordinated, autonomous and purposeless proliferation of cells”. 3

The branch of science dealing with the study of neoplasm is called “Oncology” (oncos –tumor, logos –study).

Neoplasm may be “benign” when they are slow growing and localized with out causing much difficulty to the host .or “Malignant” when they proliferate rapidly, spread through out the body and may eventually cause death of the host .The common term used for all malignant tumor is cancer. Hippocrates (460-377 BC) coined the term “Karkinos”for the cancer of the breast .The word cancer means “Crab” thus reflecting the prime character of cancer since it sticks to the part stubbornly like a crab4.

International union against cancer (IUAC) has defined cancer as a “disturbance of growth characterized primarily by excessive proliferation of cells with out apparent relation to the physiological demand of the organ involved”5.        

Summary and Conclusion
In the present study 30 patients who attended OPD & IPD of Organon of Medicine from Aug 2003 – to Feb 2005 were included. These patients belonged to various socio-economic status end of age group between 30 – 90 years. The results of the study were evaluated using statistical principles.

Maximum age group affected 60-69 years, and the incidence was more in Hindu religion.

In this study the efficacy of homoeopathic treatment in the management of pain in cancer was evaluated. Assessment was based on the changes in pain score, degree of distress score and WHO performance status score before and after treatment.

After statistical analysis, the calculated value for pain score was 12.248 and degree of distress score was 4.53 which were well above the tabled value at 5% and levels P < 0.01. Thus, this study provides an evidence to say that homoeopathic medicines are effective in managing this condition. But the calculated value for performance status was -0.194 which were less than the tabled value at 5% and levels P < 0.01. Thus, this study provides an evidence to say that homoeopathic medicines are not effective in managing this condition.

Medicinal management was found to be very much effective. Lycopodium was the medicine found effective in 7(23.33%) patients. Sulphur and Phosphorous were found to be effective in 6(20%) patients each. Ars.alb was found effective in 3 (10%) patients. Lachesis was found to be effective in 2(6.66%) patients. Ars.iodi, Calc.iod, Kali.carb, Hepar.sulph and China were found to be effective in 1(3.33%) patient each.

The following salient conclusions have been drawn from the present study after summarizing its findings,

  1. Homoeopathic medicines are effective in the management of pain in cancer.
  2. Age group mostly affected is between 40 -90 years.
  3. Males are affected more than females.

Dr  Rithesh.B.  B.H.M.S MD(Hom)
Department of Organon of Medicine
Govt. Homeopathic Medical College, Calicut Kerala
Email : [email protected]
Mob : 09446063849

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  1. A Good study made- we need such studies for the management of acute PAIN AND FEVER.
    Please do not hesitate to put the potency used and repetition if any, potency medicine even when applied externally gives instinct relief, the amelioration may be because of the effect of alcohol but it does give instinct relief, I have used it number of times with good prognosis

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