I ran a series of posts about whether cancer patients with positive attitudes live longer a while back on my daily myeloma (bone marrow cancer) blog:

Does a positive attitude really help myeloma patients live longer? YES!

YOUR MISSION: Help me start a “positive posse!”

A number of readers emailed me with anecdotal evidence.  But no one (including me!) were able to locate a research or study confirming our hypothesis.

But it is much easier to locate data about how a NEGATIVE attitude can hurt a patients recovery and possibly even survival.  Here’s an excerpt of an example that I found on CNN last week:

Stress, depression may affect cancer survival

By Amanda Enayati, Special to CNN
September 14, 2012

Editor’s note: CNN contributor Amanda Enayati ponders the theme of seeking serenity: the quest for well-being and life balance in stressful times. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

(CNN) — “A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ,” John Steinbeck once wrote. Now we are closer to understanding why.

A disease like cancer can be a mortal battle, often fraught with overwhelming stress. Given that stress management can be difficult even under ordinary circumstances, elevated feelings of anxiety and depression in cancer patients are certainly understandable.

Yet, several recent studies underscore how critically important it is for those fighting illness to learn how to combat stress…

  • A study finds depression symptoms are associated with increased risk of death
  • Researchers identified the stress hormone cortisol and inflammatory pathways
  • Over a prolonged period of chronic stress, body tissue becomes desensitized

So does proving a negative also help confirm a positive?  If a negative attitude hurts one’s chances, doesn’t that imply a positive attitude can help?

CLICK HERE to read the article in it’s entirety.  Interesting stuff!

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat



2 thoughts on “Proof a negative attitude may hurt cancer patient’s overall survival

  1. Barbara Ehrenreich writes that there is no proof that positive thinking will help a cancer patient’s survival possibility. She argues in her book, Bright-sided, that positive thinking can feel forced and weigh on the patient almost like a second disease if it leads to stress in keeping up a happy appearance for loved ones. Being advised to repress negative emotions can make one feel even worse. Her chapter about her experience with breast cancer and relentless advice to be positive, entitled “Smile or Die,” is also interesting stuff.

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