Cancer Essay Research Paper Jon Smith I

Cancer Essay, Research Paper

Jon Smith

I am reminded, as I recall early childhood, the voice of my mother telling me how wonderful positive attitudes are. She would speak of how anything could be fun if you just have the right mindset, even going to Sunday night church, Tuesday night AWANA Clubs and Wednesday night prayer meeting. Yes, all of these could be looked at from a different angle and all of the sudden I would, or at least I was supposed, to then be having a great time. A positive attitude does help with almost any situation, even if you are faking a little bit, you still can have some ounce of fun. What would happen then if one always a positive attitude? Could every part of ones body be touched by the positive mental framework, even sickness and disease? It is true that attitudes affect disease, whether it is a cold or cancer, the way you view life shapes how you will ultimately feel. A positive attitude towards cancer has been shown, not to be a cure, but to help the patient extend their life.

In general the overall well being of a person has been linked to ones own personal attitude. Studies have shown a direct link between the mind and the immune system. As far as cancer being affected by attitudes, much of the evidence and studies have shown there to be connections between the two. Unlike other ailments such as asthma or colds, when someone realizes they have cancer, they have increased levels of stress and anxiety. The higher levels of anxious feelings, could then in turn weaken, their already weak immune systems. I always used to wonder why as soon as someone found out that they had cancer, did they seem to become worse right away. The link between mind and body, I believe, would be a good answer to this question. Maybe it is true to some extent, that what you do not know can?t hurt you, at least can?t hurt you as much.

Cancer affects almost anything in the body, including the mind. The treatment alone of the disease can cause one many uneasy feelings. Cancer is a physical disease that needs to be treated with drugs and other physical things, such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Psychologists can help the patient begin to cope with their feelings of hopelessness by trying to lessen the stress that the disease causes. A study in 1990 showed that a cancer patient who, has less stress and remains good spirits, would experience better outcomes than others who give in to the illness. Another good way of curing the mind during cancer is social support groups. The idea would be to sit and talk with others with the affliction that you have. Sometimes knowing that you are not the only with cancer can strengthen the mind as well.

Researchers have looked into the value of using coping skills, like stress management and techniques to clear the mind, for cancer patients. Many eastern religious themes are present in the relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and practicing of Tao. Another idea that I came across was the idea of healing through self- acceptance; the idea would be, to come to grips with that fact that you have cancer. Rather than stay in a constant state of stress and denial. A good case for mind over body and for positive attitude would be the recent recovery of Lance Armstrong from testicular cancer. Lance had only a 50/50 shot of survival when he found out that he had tumors all over his body. He credits the doctors as much as anything for his resurgence, but he also said that he just knew in his mind that he would not be beat down by this disease.

Although many will say that the mind does not affect how you feel, I can see where they might say that, but I cannot agree. There may not be substantial proof yet between mind and body, and I will admit a positive attitude probably will never cure cancer; at least it can suffice until one can be found. But really, I don?t need any proof from anyone else, I already know the mind has a great power to change things?I actually began to enjoy going to Sunday night church.


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