People with cancer “more likely to be pissed off” than people without cancer

Although that’s not entirely how it’s been reported:

Positive thinkers ‘avoid cancer’

Women who have a positive outlook may decrease their chances of developing breast cancer, say Israeli researchers.

…But the researchers admitted that women were questioned after their diagnosis, which might significantly change their outlook on life.”

3 thoughts on “People with cancer “more likely to be pissed off” than people without cancer

  1. Lis says:

    I just literally read this in another book today (about emotional intelligence, something I’m utterly devoid of unless I’m taking an EQ test). That said, the study in this book was a bit more scientific. The hypothesis is decent, stress reduces your immune system and cancer is an auto-immune disease.

    Was my picture included in the article btw?

    It’s a shame they used a completely absurd method for this “study” because the correlation of stress to cancer need to s be explored more. In the cases where there’s no genetic history, no environmental/choice-based cause and is purely a mutation that didn’t get beaten and bullied by the good cells, stress must be a contributing factor. I realize I might be personalizing this a bit but there’s absolutely no explanation for my chromosomal mutation that went amuck. But it’s no coincidence that my tumor went out of control at the pinnacle of my personal stress and is going whack again now that I’ve reached another peak of stress.

    It just irritates me when decent useful research goes bad or is invalidated because someone is an idiot.

  2. Gary says:

    > In the cases where there’s no genetic history, no environmental/choice-based cause and is purely a mutation that didn’t get beaten and bullied by the good cells, stress must be a contributing factor.

    Maybe, yeah, but as far as I’m aware there isn’t any research showing a causal link (according to Cancer Research UK, reputable studies to date have failed to find any significant link; one study even found high stress levels reduced oestrogen, thus reducing the risk of breast cancer) – I do think that until there is, such reporting is dangerous and suggests that people who get cancer (or who don’t recover) simply aren’t trying hard enough to have the right attitude.

    Some of the reporting is particularly bad, because it suggests that one thing either causes or cures cancer, when of course it’s a multi-factor illness whose roots can go back decades, and it’s different in every person who gets it.

    Don’t get me wrong, stress is bound to have some effect – not least because people who are seriously stressed are more likely to indulge in harmful habits, such as drinking more, eating less healthily, smoking more, all of which are known risk factors. Of course that’s an indirect effect, but it does occur.

    Cancer Research talks about stress/cancer studies, and they sound awfully like the linked one:

    “The studies that have linked stress and cancer have had flawed designs, including very small numbers of participants. Often, people with cancer were asked to recall if they were stressed before they developed their disease. But these people are likely to overestimate their past problems to try and explain their condition, or because cancer itself is very stressful.”

    Then again, the NCI suggests there *may* be a link between stress and the progression of some lymphomas (again, indirectly), but the language is all “suggests… can… may”.

    > But it’s no coincidence that my tumor went out of control at the pinnacle of my personal stress and is going whack again now that I’ve reached another peak of stress.

    Could it be the opposite, though? Could it be that the tumour going out of control and its recurrence made you less able to handle the (genuine) stress? Because obviously it’s not something that just happens overnight, so it’ll be sapping your energy over a fairly long period of time before things come to a head.

    (genuinely interested)

  3. Lis says:

    As you know, pain puts you in a lousy mood and causes frustration/blow ups. Tumors typically aren’t painful..that’s why no one notices them until something else happens…coughing or pissing blood, bleeding ulcers, jaundice etc.

    In the piles that I’ve read in my own self-interest, there’s nothing that’s a fact in cancer. Everything is “suggests” and “might be’s” which is why it scares the pants off people when they get it. Even treatment protocols vary and there is never ever a guarantee. The only pseudo guarantee they give is if you’re in a remission for five years, they relax their big-brother grip on you but that’s only because statistically if you’ve been in remission for 5-7 years you’re considered “cured.”

    The original tumor I had began to surface when I was probably mildly stressed. It got out of control when I was just emerging from an abysmally stressful time. That span of time was probably 2-3 years. It’s sad but I haven’t a clue when it really started/how long I ignored it. When I think on that period of time, I had no pain at all. In fact, I was studying bellydance and becoming a pilates champ (lol) and was never stronger or healthier than I was when the tumor “exploded.” And even after exploding, it still didn’t hurt. So, the pain correlation isn’t there and I don’t know of many tumors that hurt. So a person is more likely to know they are stressed before they know they have a tumor. I think it’s fairly obvious where I fell on that scale ;-) That said, despite the dance class, working out and trying to become superwoman I was always oddly fatigued/tired. I attribute that to the cancer but that never really parlayed in my mind to stress.

    That said, I’m all kinds of miserable now because of outright pain but it’s not a tumor but the aftermath of one.

    What was the point?

    What I’m trying to say is that I’m somewhat agreeing with you that stress leads to habits or behaviors that naturally put you at risk for cancer. But not that many cancers are environmentally brought on, more are genetic or just “appear.” But they are finding more and more causes in what were seen as benign (no pun intended) substances we eat, put on our skin etc. People have been known to reverse or at least slow it down by changing their diet dramatically, meditating/yoga etc.

    I had to look into cancer trends in Thailand since I don’t have any insight to that side of my family genetically. It turns out that Thailand was fairly cancer free until this most recent generation. Now ovarian and breast cancer are on the rise dramatically whereas it never really was seen a couple generations ago. It’s attributed and correlated to the increased westernization of lifestyle which would include diet, women entering the workplace more (and certainly prostitution as well for the ovarian cancer aspect). This is happening in Bangkok, not necessarily in the hills. Is it pollution? Bangkok has been revoltingly polluted for generations. So who knows what it is but the lifestyle there has changed and evolved to being more western. As a side note, I actually did get feedback from my mother’s sister eventually thanks to my first cousin once removed ;-) There is zero history of cancer on my mother’s side of the family and it was a shock to all of them that I had acquired it. The assumption is that I got that from the German paternal side except no one has ever acquired or died of cancer in a family that has 125 direct 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation descendants from my great-grandparents EXCEPT for me and my father’s cousin who got prostate cancer but survived. So, why did I get the lucky card? Because I’m a trunk of anxiety and stress with a pair of legs attached to i? I’m not really sure that’s an off the wall assumption, to be honest.

    Sorry for the ramble. I took a wee pain med. :)

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