Positive Thinking and Its Relation to the Success of Cancer Treatment
Cancer is usually treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Apart from these medical procedures, the mind is said to play a role in the healing process. How does the medical world view these claims? Check out the review below.
Does Positive Thinking Really Help Overcome Cancer?
Cancer is a serious disease that can cause emotional problems to the physical health of the sufferer. Certain types of stress can suppress the immune system, which fights disease.
When a person is diagnosed with cancer, there is fear of the unknown and worry about what will happen next. As a result, these thoughts will only exacerbate the cancer.
For people with cancer, maintaining the mind and spirit is very important to fight cancer growth, because the mind has a very strong influence on physical condition.
A study revealed, there is a relationship between thoughts and healing cancer. Positive thinking can help cancer patients live longer by boosting their immune systems.
A strong immune system plays an important role in fighting disease and destroying infected cells.
Also Read: 10 Benefits of Reading Books for Body and Mind
The placebo effect in cancer treatment
In a study, a clinical trial is divided into groups to test a placebo (empty drug) for treatment. One group was given medication or treatment but the other was not. The latter group is considered as the control group.
All participants were told they were receiving the same drug or treatment—in the form of a pill, injection, drink, or some other treatment—but half were actually given a placebo.
Placebos look or feel like medicine, but don’t actually contain anything that can affect your health.
The placebo effect is when the patient strongly believes that the treatment will work. Patients may feel a physical change as if receiving the same drug as other people.
When the placebo group was given the pill, considered a stimulant, their pulse rate and blood pressure increased and they had better reflex times. Whereas other participants with a placebo to treat pain showed improvement in chronic pain due to an increase in endorphins (the body’s natural pain reliever).
In some cases, patients are told that they are taking a placebo and that this has resulted in improvements in their depression, sleep disturbances, digestive problems, and menopausal symptoms.
The placebo effect is the most common phenomenon in all drugs. This effect results from the patient’s beliefs, expectations, and can be reinforced by the doctor’s beliefs and the way the doctor communicates.
It is important for cancer patients to be introduced to the mind-body approach as early as possible after diagnosis for the following reasons:
- Provides a positive focus and a sense of participation.
- Divert attention from worries.
- Sends the message that there is reason to hope.
- Able to learn and train the skills of the mind before the ability to concentrate is affected by chemotherapy or radiation.
Also Read: 10 Easy and Effective Ways to Eliminate Negative Thoughts
Connection of Mind with Body
The mind-body connection is real. Researchers believe that patients have high expectations of getting better in terms of health through the power of thought.
Additionally, the body has the ability to mimic the effects of antidepressants, anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers, and asthma medications. Scientists are beginning to understand how the brain communicates with the body at the cellular level.
The good news is that deep breathing and aerobic exercises have been shown to be effective methods for reducing stress and building the immune system.
A review of various studies concluded that people who incorporate a daily exercise routine develop less cancer. In addition, exercise also produces endorphins, happy hormones that neutralize stress.
Ultimately, diet and lifestyle choices play a major role in overall health. So, are you still doubtful about the power of thought and its effect on healing disease?
- Anonymous. Power of mind-body medicine to fight cancer. https://www.piedmont.org/living-better/power-of-mind-body-medicine-to-fight-cancer. (Accessed February 14, 2023)
- Garcia, Britney. 2020. The Mind of Cancer. https://www.curetoday.com/view/the-mind-of-cancer. (Accessed February 14, 2023)
- Rossman, Martin L. 2009. Mind-body medicine in cancer care: Making patients whole. https://www.cancernetwork.com/view/mind-body-medicine-cancer-care-making-patients-whole. (Accessed February 14, 2023)
- Tickle, Louise. 2000. Positive thinking can kill cancer cells, say psychologists. https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2000/apr/16/theobserver.uknews2. (Accessed February 14, 2023)
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