Tuesday, April 19, 2011

TUESDAY TIDINGS - The Power of Positive Thinking

I recently received an email from Tim Elliot, who wrote the following:

"I am very passionate about maximizing cancer patient's mental and physical health and how best to cope with terminal illness. I feel that I could write a compelling article that would be of great interest to the readers of Sister Survivors."

Tim sent me a well researched article that I'd like to post here. I was especially interested in the third paragraph, where Tim writes about cancer support groups having a strong positive effect on cancer patients. There are links throughout the article that you can click on to read his sources...

The Power of Positive Thinking

As more and more studies begin to show the connection between positivity and health, there is a growing consensus that positive thinking can have a strong effect on cancer treatment and longevity. Scientists studying the new field of physchoneuroimmunology, which explores the interaction between the nervous and immune systems of the body, have discovered that positive emotional experiences can often boost the immune system.

Although an exact link between positive thinking and cancer treatment is still unclear, what is certain is that there is a direct, harmful connection between stress and cancer. Both cortisol and norepinephrine, chemicals that are produced in significant amounts when you are stressed, are proven to have an effect on tumor growth. Norepinephrine has been shown to help induce cancerous tumor cell growth in mice and is thought to possibly play a role in ovarian cancer in humans.

As the importance of positivity and emotional and mental well-being becomes more and more a part of cancer treatment, doctors have begun emphasizing the importance of cancer support groups. Because support groups act as a buffer allowing cancer patients or survivors a chance to discuss their emotions and reactions with others who have been through similar experiences and help build lasting relationships they often have a strong positive effect on a cancer patient or survivors’ outlook. Even in cancers caused by environmental toxins, such as mesothelioma, and genetic factors, such as breast cancer there is evidence of support groups benefitting the mental, emotional, and even physical condition of patients. For example, the average mesothelioma life expectancy is only a little over a year- but patients who have been in support groups as part of a healthy lifestyle can extend it by up to several years, part of which can largely be attributed to a more positive outlook.

Of course, even for patients and survivors in a cancer support group it can be extremely difficult to stay positive when coping with cancer. But with more and more information coming to light about the possibility of positive thinking affecting tumor growth, it’s important to remember that that phrase we always hear- “Just stay positive”- might have a lot more power to it than you ever thought.

Part of the reason I helped to start this support group was my belief that talking with other breast cancer survivors is critical to the healing process. I'm happy to read in the article above, that doctors are beginning to see the importance of support groups for cancer patients, too.

Thanks to Tim for the article. I enjoyed reading it - I hope you did, too. Comment if you'd like to!

-Kara

2 comments:

Tami Boehmer said...

Great article! This really dries home all I've read
and observed and through my interviews with miracle survivors. Keep spreading the word!

Tami Boehmer said...

Great article! This really dries home all I've read
and observed and through my interviews with miracle survivors. Keep spreading the word!

Labels

15th (5) 5k (4) Abundance (1) Activity (3) Adversity (1) Advertising (1) Aerobics (1) After Cancer (3) Almonds (1) American Cancer Society (2) Angels (2) Anger (1) Apples (1) Art Journaling (1) Attitude (2) Back to Normal (2) Basic Cancer Information (1) Bath (1) Beans (1) Beauty (5) Becoming (3) Becoming Christlike (2) Being Happy (5) Being Nice (1) Beyond Cancer (1) Biking (1) Blessings (5) Blogging (3) Board (1) Books (3) Boots (1) Bosom Buddies (2) Bras (4) Bravery (1) Bread (3) Breakfast (4) Breast Cancer (7) Breast cancer awareness month (3) Breast Cancer Sisterhood (1) Breast Cancer Support (2) Breast Cancer Website (1) Breast Self Exam (7) Breathing (2) Brenda Coffee (4) Bucket List (1) Busy (3) Cake (1) Calendar items (1) Calm (2) Cancer (1) Cancer Deadline (1) Cancer Journey (28) Cancer Side Effects (5) Cancer Tips (4) Cancer Words (2) Carrots (1) Casts (1) Challenges (3) Changes (2) Character (6) Charity (1) Check Ups (1) Cheese (2) chemo (7) Chemo Blankets (1) Chemo Tips (1) Chicken (9) Children (2) Chocolate (4) Choices (2) Christmas (11) Cleaning (3) Colette Harris (2) Comfort (2) Compassion (2) Concert (2) Contentment (2) Contributing (2) Cookies (2) Coping (3) Cosmetics (2) Countdown (1) Courage (9) Curable (1) Dariy (1) DCIS (2) Death (4) Dedication (1) Desserts (5) Determination (2) Diagnosis (1) diet (1) Dips (2) Discipline (1) Doctors (2) Dr. Tittensor (2) Drinks (3) DVD (1) Dying (1) Eagle Project (1) Early Detection (1) Eating Out (1) Egg (1) Eggs (3) Emotional (1) Emotions (1) Encouragement (1) Enduring to the End (1) Energy (2) Enery (1) Enjoy (1) Enriching Lives (3) Events (1) Exercise (23) Exercise Equipment (2) Exercises (1) Expanders (1) Eye Pillows (1) Eyebrows (1) facebook (1) Faith (3) Family (5) Fathers (1) Fatigue (1) Fears (3) Feeling Better (1) Finances (1) Flowers (2) Food (1) Forbes Magazine Article (1) Fresh Start (1) Friday Fare (57) Friendship (4) Fruit (10) Fruits (4) Fundraising (5) Games (1) General (3) General Announcements (18) Generosity (1) gifts (3) Ginger Johnson (1) Give-aways (1) Giving (2) Goals (4) God (7) Good Day (1) Grace (1) Grains (2) Grandma (1) Gratitude (8) Greek (1) Green (1) Grief (2) Grilling (3) Growing (1) Guest Post (32) Guidelines (1) Hair Loss (7) Happiness (2) Happy Chemo (2) Happy Memories (2) Hats (2) Having Cancer (1) Healing (7) Healthy (4) Healthy Eating (21) Healthy Recipes (42) Healthy Tips (4) Heaven (1) Help (1) Helpful Products (3) Helpful Websites (15) Helping Others (10) Holidays (8) Home (1) Hope (6) Hope Chests (1) Hummus (1) Huntsman (1) Imperfection (1) Implants (1) Improving (1) Incredible Women (4) Inspiration (1) Integrity (1) Italian (1) Jewelry (3) Journaling (2) Joy (1) Kabobs (1) Kathy Christensen (90) Keeping Records (1) Kidney Beans (1) kids (1) Kindness (5) Komen (2) Lance Armstrong (2) Learning (1) Life Changing (1) Lifting Hearts (6) Lifting Hearts Birthday Party (2) Lifting Hearts in Utah (1) Lifting Hearts in Utah 5K (1) Listening (1) Livestrong (1) Look Good Feel Better (1) Loss (1) Love (11) Luau (2) Lunch (1) Lymphedema (1) Lymphedema Pillows (1) Mammograms (5) mastectomy (6) Medical Bills (1) Medications (1) Medicinal Side Effects (1) Meditation (1) Memories (1) Mentoring (4) Miche (2) Milk (1) Monday Memoirs (44) Monday Mentionables (12) Monday Motivation (29) Monday Musings (1) Motherhood (2) Mothers (1) Mountains for Mammograms (2) Mourning (1) Muscle Aches (1) Music (4) Nails (1) Nausea (1) New Year's Resolutions (2) News (2) Nighttime (1) Nioxin (1) Nordstroms (1) Norman Vincent Peale (1) Nurture Yourself (2) Nurturing Yourself (2) nutrition (1) Nuts (1) Nuture Yourself (1) Oatmeal (1) Obesity (1) October (2) Opportunities (1) Optimism (2) Organization (2) Pain (1) Pampering (2) Party (3) Pasta (8) Patience (5) Peace (4) Peace of Mind (1) Perfection (1) Persistence (1) Pictures (4) Pie (1) Pilates (2) Pink (10) Pink Planner (1) Play (1) Portion Control (1) Positive Thinking (2) Prayer (1) Pre-Cancer Self (1) Prevention (1) Privacy (1) Progression (1) Pumpkin (1) Purse (2) Quotes (4) Race (1) Rack Pack (2) Radiation (1) Reading (1) Recipe Re-Do (2) Recipes (1) reconstruction (4) Recovery (11) Recurrence (1) Reducing Your Risk (1) Reflection (4) Relax (5) Relief (1) Reminder (5) Research (1) Rest (1) Retreats (2) Rice (1) Rice Bags (1) Risk Factors (1) Running (3) Salad (9) Salmon (1) Sandwich (2) Sara Peck (1) Saturday Strength (18) Sausage (1) Scars (2) Schedule (1) Seasons (1) Self Breast Exam (1) Seniors (1) Service (9) Service Projects (6) Services and Programs (1) Sharing Wisdom (1) Shop (1) Sick (3) Side Dishes (1) Silence (1) Sister Survivors (4) Skin Care (3) Sleep (1) Slowing Down (5) Smell (1) Smoothie (2) Snacks (1) Song (1) Soreness (1) Soup (3) Soy (1) Spinach (2) Spiritual (1) Spiritual Health (1) Spiritual Values (1) Spotlight (2) Spring (2) Springtime Recipes (1) Starting Over (1) Stories (1) Storms (2) Strawberries (1) Strength (12) Strength Training (1) Stress (6) Stretching (1) Strong Saturday (6) Style (1) Super Foods (9) Support (11) Support Groups (7) Support Meetings (21) Surgery Tips (4) Survivors (15) Survivors Library (1) Swimming (1) Take Time (2) Talents (1) Tamoxifen (1) Temperance (1) Thankfulness (2) Thriving (1) Thursday Thoughts (123) Time (4) Tips (3) TLC (1) Toning (1) Tranquility (1) Treatments (1) Trials (3) Tuesday Tidings (56) Tuesday Tips (27) Turkey (2) Twitter (1) University of Utah (1) Utah (1) Values (1) Vegetarian (1) Veggies (18) Videos (5) Vitamins (1) Walking (9) Walmart (1) Water (3) Weathered (1) Website (1) Websites (1) Weight Lifting (2) Weight Loss (4) Wife (1) Wigs (1) Wisdom (1) Women's Expo (2) Wordless Wednesday (76) Work (1) Writing (1) Writing Your Cancer Story (30) Yard Sale (4) Zumba (1)