Psychoneuroimmunology and Cancer
Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is the branch of medicine that is responsible for studying the psychophysiological self-regulation of the individual. That is, the mechanisms of interaction and communication between the mind and the three systems responsible for maintaining the homeostasis of the organism: the nervous system, the immune system and the endocrine system. This communication uses a biochemical language through different substances such as hormones, neurotransmitters and immunological messengers (cytokines).
In this sense, Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is providing us with the physiological evidence about how the connection between these three systems is established and the mechanism explaining how the emotional state can influence the physiology of our body, altering its balance and leading it to the disease.
Poor adaptation to sustained stress (distress), produces a decrease in the immunity of the individual. Correct immunity is essential to control the progression of tumor disease.
The knowledge of this relationship allows us to detect those stressful events that could be experienced some time before the appearance of the tumor. Influencing the psychological and emotional factors that could contribute to a decrease in immunological activity and try to correct them, is another factor to consider in integrative oncology.
Psychoneuroimmunology states our beliefs and attitudes can influence our body, as evidenced by the decrease in immune function in chronic stress and the importance of proper immune function in the control of tumor disease. It is possible restore optimal functioning through specific programs that integrate psychological therapies with medical treatment that help reduce stress levels.