Besides more conventional tumor risks, depression and negative life events are significant risk factors in cancer here in Hungary, therefore oncopsychology is increasingly important. We discuss traumatizing effects of the diagnosis and invasive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures from the viewpoint of altered state of consciousness. During stress and hypnosis brain functioning is altered in a similar way, which can be seen both in the patient's symptoms and his/her physiological and neuroimaging findings. In trance state patients part from reality, they no longer communicate conventionally or maturely. Hypnosis is characterized not only by physical and mental changes, but important unique social interactions as well. These interactions affect the endocrine and immune system and the mental state of the patient, they strengthen and synchronize resources and help posttraumatic growth. Since in the stress induced spontaneous altered state of consciousness the susceptibility to suggestions is increased, suggestive communication can be used effectively and it can even result in formal hypnosis induction. Under the strong time and mental pressure characterizing the work of the oncologic departments, it might help the staff to improve the cooperation with the patient if staff members, physicians and nurses as well, are aware of the nature and the neurophysiologic background of the spontaneous trance state induced by the life-threatening diagnosis of cancer.
Magy Onkol. 2010 Jun;54(2):153-60. Jakubovits E. Semmelweis Egyetem Egészségtudományi Kar Morfológiai és Fiziológiai Intézet 1088 Budapest Vas. u. 17. ELTE Pszichológiai Doktori Iskola Magatartáspszichológiai PhD Program Budapest.