Mental and Emotional Health Helps Prevent, Deal With and Beat Cancer

Mar 27, 2009 by

Mental and Emotional Health Helps Prevent, Deal With and Beat Cancer

The role of mental and emotional health and wellbeing in the prevention of disease as well as the promotion of good health and vitality cannot be over-emphasized. They are, quite simply put, absolutely crucial.

In fact, some healing modalities place mental and emotional issues at the top of the list of all causes of diseases. Certainly, trauma, stress and negativity in these areas are extremely toxic to our bodies, perhaps even more so than physical toxins and poisons. In this article, a few studies linking cancer and mental and emotional outlook are briefly discussed, and links are provided to more detailed write-ups.

Cancer Prevention

First and foremost, cancer prevention – does mental and emotional outlook help in this area? Do traumatic and stressful events in one’s life increase cancer risk? An Israeli study, which had looked at 622 women aged from 25 to 45, said yes.

Professor Ronit Peled, the leader of the study, said that its findings “showed a clear link between outlook and risk of breast cancer, with optimists 25 percent less likely to have developed the disease”. In addition, the study also uncovered that women who had been through two or more traumatic events in their lives had a 62 percent higher risk of developing cancer.

Peled is convinced that the link between emotional events and health exists, and he said that “we can carefully say that experiencing more than one severe and / or mild to moderate life event is a risk factor for breast cancer among young women. On the other hand, a general feeling of happiness and optimism can play a protective role”.

Click here to read more: Mental and Emotional Health Help Prevent Breast Cancer; Traumatic Events Raise Risk

Reducing Cancer Pain and Fatigue

Next up – the pain and fatigue which accompany cancer. Can positive outlook help?

Once again, a study, this one conducted at the Michigan State University in East Lansing, said yes. The team found that cancer sufferers who had more optimistic outlooks were better able to manage their cancer pain. Further, those of them who had a strong sense of mastery, or control over their environment, experienced less severe fatigue on top of being able to better manage their pain.

Click here to read more: Cancer Pain and Fatigue – Reducing Them With Positive Mental and Emotional Attitude

Cancer Survival

Now, how about survival and recovery from cancer?

According to a study which was conducted by the University of Pennsylvania and published in 2007, positive emotional and mental outlook does not improve a person’s chances of beating cancer. That sounds pretty depressing.

That study was actually widely publicized on many mainstream media sources, and almost treated as a definitive and conclusive proof of the matter. Damaging headlines, such as “Cancer survival not linked to a positive attitude“, “Study shows positive thinking by patient has no impact on surviving cancer”, “Positive attitude does little to boost cancer survival odds, study says”, “Emotions do not affect cancer survival: study”, and “Study: attitude can’t overcome cancer” can be found on the internet.

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  1. As a survivor of cancer at age 12, I can definitely attest to the fact that keeping an optimistic outlook helps with cancer survival. I can remember having sooooo much support from family, friends, people I didn’t even know… We went in to it, from the day after we found out to the day I was in remission, with a gung-ho “we’re going to beat this thing” attitude. I never once thought about dying. It never crossed my mind. This positive attitude and determination carried over into my entry into Junior High and High School. A once backward and shy me evolved into an empowered and quite confident, and consequently, rather popular high school kid. I started to enjoy school! I still view my battle with cancer as a good thing.

  2. I forgot to add to the above: I think it’s important to note that, while dying didn’t enter into my thoughts, all kind of emotions often welled up and spilled out. Sadness, anger, fear, guilt… And I let them flow. And my family and friends let me do this. I think this is important. To go ahead and feel what you are feeling, and not deny it. I also was involved in a “group” at school in which we could discuss anything and everything without judgment. Also one on one counseling, or having someone whom you trust and feel safe with, but who does not have emotional involvement with you… Having someone like this to spill all your “crazies” to really helps. I remember sometimes feeling I had to keep being strong and acting brave even when I wasn’t. Having someone to show my weak side to who I knew wouldn’t be burdened by it really helped me stay strong and positive.
    I only wish now that I knew then what I know about nutrition and natural medicine- but that’s a different story.

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