The advantages of hypnosis intervention on breast cancer surgery and adjuvant therapy.


In oncology, hypnosis has been used for pain relief in metastatic patients but rarely for induction of anesthesia.


Between January 2010 and October 2015, 300 patients from our Breast Clinic (Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc, Université catholique de Louvain) were included in an observational, non-randomized study approved by our local ethics committee ( - NCT03003611). The hypothesis of our study was that hypnosis intervention could decrease side effects of breast surgery. 150 consecutive patients underwent breast surgery while on general anesthesia (group I), and 150 consecutive patients underwent the same surgical procedures while on hypnosis sedation (group II). After surgery, in each group, 32 patients received chemotherapy, radiotherapy was administered to 123 patients, and 115 patients received endocrine therapy.


Duration of hospitalization was statistically significantly reduced in group II versus group I: 3 versus 4.1 days (p = 0.0000057) for all surgical procedures. The number of post-mastectomy lymph punctures was reduced in group II (1-3, median value n = 1.5) versus group I (2-5, median value n = 3.1) (p = 0.01), as was the quantity of lymph removed (103 ml versus 462.7 ml) (p = 0.0297) in the group of mastectomies. Anxiety scale was also statistically reduced in the postoperative period among the group of patients undergoing surgery while on hypnosis sedation (p = 0.0000000000000002). The incidence of asthenia during chemotherapy was statistically decreased (p = 0.01) in group II. In this group, there was a statistically non-significant trend towards a decrease in the incidence of nausea/vomiting (p = 0.1), and the frequency of radiodermitis (p = 0.002) and post-radiotherapy asthenia (p = 0.000000881) was also reduced. Finally, the incidence of hot flashes (p = 0.0000000000021), joint and muscle pain (p = 0.0000000000021) and asthenia while on endocrine therapy (p = 0.000000022) were statistically significantly decreased in group II.


Hypnosis sedation exerts beneficial effects on nearly all modalities of breast cancer treatment.


Benefits of hypnosis sedation on breast cancer treatment are very encouraging and further promote the concept of integrative oncology.