A CASE OF THYROID CANCER
Senior Consultant and Faculty, the other song – International Academy of Advanced Homoeopathy…
The thyroid gland
The thyroid gland is situated at the base of the neck between the sternum and Adam’s apple. It is composed of two lobes that resemble butterfly wings which are connected by a small strand of tissue called the isthmus.
Function of the thyroid gland
There are two main types of cells in the thyroid gland. Both of these types of cells are responsible for the production of hormones that either help regulate metabolism or control the concentration of calcium in the blood.
Follicle cells present in the gland create the two main thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) along with thyroglobulin. This is a protein necessary for the storage and production of thyroid hormones. Parafollicular cells (also known as C-cells) produce thyrocalcitonin, a hormone that regulates calcium levels in the blood.
Different types of cancers can occur in each of these cell lines. The prognosis for the patient very much depends on the type of cancer. The most common thyroid tumors can often be surgically removed with fairly satisfactory results. With more aggressive cancers surgical removal and post operative treatments can cause serious complications.
Common symptoms of thyroid cancer
As the thyroid tissue grows, one or more small swellings or nodules may develop within the gland. These may be solid or fluid-filled and can be typically benign, causing no symptoms. However, five percent of these nodules are cancerous and can sometimes grow rapidly. This can potentially result in symptoms such as hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, and challenges in respiration as the nodule expands.The patient can also have painful swallowing or neck discomfort that spreads up the jaw and into the ears. There can be lymph node enlargement in the neck, around the jaw, ears, and under the collarbone.
A 56-year-old man consulted Dr. Sujit Chatterjee, a Senior Consultant and Faculty, in August 2013 at our clinic ‘the other song’. The patient was diagnosed with cancer of the thyroid gland. The ultrasound report dated July 2013 showed enlargement of the thyroid gland (6.8x 2.8x 2.6 cm) and the isthmus; the nodule being suggestive of a diffuse thyroid disease. A few right cervical lymph nodes were also noted in the report.
In Homoeopathy it is important to explore the patient’s medical, psychological and social history through a skillful case-taking which reveals his tendencies and the most characteristic symptoms. The medicine which corresponds to the patient’s characteristic symptoms is then prescribed.
With this current patient, the case taking revealed that the main issues for this man were ones of intense fear of cancer with fear of dying from the disease. There was also a strong family history of cancer. The patient also had marked anxiety about the welfare of his family.
The death of the patient’s older brother came as a shock to the patient and he experienced that suddenly the responsibility of the entire family was on his shoulders, which he found too much to handle. When the patient was diagnosed of cancer, it was again a great shock to him and again he was worried about who would take up the responsibility of looking after his family.
He loves the greenery, the peace and the farms of the village. He dislikes the city life of Mumbai, however he continues to live in Mumbai only because of his job. By nature the patient is an irritable person, who gets angry very easily when he is contradicted. He is fastidious about cleanliness and cannot tolerate dirt.
These symptoms given by the patient were carefully studied and he was given a medicine matching his experience of shock, intense responsibility, easy anger and fastidiousness, which would act on his cancer.
On the basis of our case taking, the patient’s history, dreams, stresses and diagnosis a homoeopathic remedy was prescribed. This covered the entire totality of the patient. The totality means simply the entire picture of the patient.
Because of the choice of remedy the treatment was successful. The patient did not have to undergo any kind or surgery or chemotherapy. The cancer was treated by homeopathic remedies alone.
The patient plan was that he would be followed up weekly and later monthly. His progress was monitored closely by the resident doctor and the consulting homoeopath. There was gradual, persistent and significant decrease in the size of the gland, nodules and the lymph nodes.
The ultrasound report of April 2014 revealed no evidence of any cystic swelling or nodule and no enlarged cervical lymph nodes.
Some inflammation of the thyroid gland, with no remaining cancer
The patient was not only symptomatically better, but also experienced a state of well being. His initial complaints such as fear, persistent weight loss and loss of appetite disappeared after the treatment. He is psychologically much more relaxed and happy. There was also a marked change in his temperament and irritability from when he had first come for consultation. Thus a homoeopathic remedy selected after a careful case-taking not only treats the main complaint, but it brings about an overall change, helping the person experience general well-being.
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