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 truth is, that study had serious shortcomings. Firstly, it had used the FACT-G to assess the quality of life among the cancer sufferers, a scale which comprised of only 6 questions. According to John M. Grohol, Psy.D, the CEO and publisher of Psychcentral.com, this is a woefully inadequate measure. According to him, there is no existing scale measuring psychological mental health or emotional wellbeing which only has so few questions, simply because such a scale would be way too shallow in its focus. Emotional wellbeing is, after all, a complex issue, as are outlook and attitude.

Another shortcoming of the study was that it only looked at the emotional states of cancer sufferers at one point in time. Grohol said that “mood is well-known to be a variable, ever-changing component, especially during something like cancer treatment”. Again, the study is inadequate.

Click here to read more: Does a Positive Mental and Emotional Outlook Improve Cancer Survival? – Questioning a Study Which Said It Doesn’t

How about studies which show that positive emotional and mental health do help?

An Ohio State University study had found that unhappy marriages negatively affected cancer recovery. It had found that female cancer sufferers who were in distressed marriages underwent less physical activity, had higher levels of stress, were slower to recover and also suffered more signs and symptoms of sickness, as compared to the women who were in happy marriages. And these findings applied even after factors such as depression levels, stage of cancer, cancer treatment and other factors which could influence wellbeing were accounted for.

“The quality of the marital relationship may not be the first thing women worry about when they get a cancer diagnosis. But it may have a significant impact on how they cope physically and emotionally. Our results suggest that the increases in stress and other problems that come with a distressed marital relationship can have real health consequences and lead to poorer recovery from cancer,” said Hae-Chung Yang, a research associate in psychology at Ohio State University and co-author of the study.

“Clearly, marital distress is a risk factor for numerous poorer outcomes, and it is never too late to work to improve your marriage, not only for your emotional well-being but also for your health,” Yang also said.

Click here to read more: Breast Cancer Recovery Negatively Hit by Unhappy Marriages

Further, another Ohio State University study also found that psychological counseling may boost breast cancer patients’ likelihood of survival. The researchers discovered that sessions which focused on improving mood, effective coping and altering health behaviors seemed to help lower the patients’ stress levels, thereby helping them to live longer.

Click here to read more: Breast Cancer Survival Rates Boosted by Psychological Counseling

So, there you have it. Emotional and mental wellbeing help in every way, preventing cancer, dealing with it, and overcoming and healing from it. Don’t underestimate the power of your mental and emotional health!

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2 Comments

  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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