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Spontaneous remission of a disease occurs when there is a marked reduction in its degree of evolution, which cannot be explained by the type of treatment being used. In other words, remission does not mean that the disease is completely cured, however, due to the regression of its evolution, it presents greater chances of cure.
In the case of cancer, spontaneous remission usually causes a decrease in the size of the tumor, which facilitates the effect of treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy in the destruction of tumor cells. Furthermore, in some cases, spontaneous remission may even allow the tumor to be operated on and removed completely.
One of the most common cases of spontaneous remission occurs in people infected with the HPV virus. See when this is most frequent.
Why it happens
There is still no proven explanation for spontaneous remission, however, there are several scientific proposals to explain this process. Some of the factors that seem to have the greatest effect are the mediation of the immune system, tumor necrosis, programmed cell death, genetic factors and even hormonal changes.
However, it is also widely accepted that psychological and spiritual factors can play a very important role in remission. Some of the theories involving these factors include:
- Placebo effect:according to this theory, positive expectations regarding treatment can cause chemical changes in the brain that help fight various types of diseases such as cancer, arthritis, allergies and even diabetes. Understand better how this effect works;
- Hypnosis: There are several reported cases associated with hypnosis, especially in the accelerated improvement of burns, warts and asthma;
- Help groups: studies show that breast cancer patients who attend help groups have a longer-than-normal life expectancy;
- Interaction between diseases: this is a theory that explains the remission of a disease as a result of the emergence of another disease.
In addition, although they are fewer, there are also recorded cases of cures, for which science has no explanation.
When it happens
There is still not enough data to confirm the frequency of spontaneous remission cases, however, according to the numbers recorded, remission is very rare, occurring in 1 in 60 thousand cases.
Although remission can occur in almost all diseases, some types of cancer have a greater number of cases. These types are neuroblastoma, renal carcinoma, melanoma, and leukemias and lymphomas.