Wellbeing

Can you cure cancer with alternative medicines?

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I am a nurse. At age 39 (ten years ago), I had ovarian cancer. I got out of it, I went back to work and I even met a man with whom I had an adventure. I left her. I thought I understood a lot, but my cancer recurred. Should I give up traditional medicine? Anne, Lyon

Claude Halmos

Psychoanalyst

answers

You ask me, Anne, how it is possible that having understood about yourself a lot, your cancer has recurred? This interrogation refers, it seems to me, to theories according to which cancer is "psychological". It is a reductive simplification.

The body of a human being is not a piece of meat. It is built in an interaction with the psyche and, for a lifetime, the psyche has an influence on him. But we can not reduce this influence to a kind of mechanical and automatic relationship: "I want to hurt myself, I get cancer, I want to do good, I heal it." Why is it more complicated? On the one hand, because we all come into the world with a body that has areas of fragility and others that are stronger (it is a capital of "good" and "bad" that we inherit). And secondly because this body has an autonomous functioning.

One can thus "get sick" as the current language says, but within certain limits (it is not enough to fantasize about whooping cough to have it). And, in the same way, if the desire to live helps us to live, it is not all-powerful. Asking yourself about the meaning of your cancer is very important. But it must be treated. With traditional medicine: we do not cure cancer with herbal teas.

Take care, Anne. My thoughts are with you.

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