Azara Blog: Emotional state allegedly has not direct bearing on cancer survival

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Date published: 2007/10/22

The BBC says:

The power of the mind has been overestimated when it comes to fighting cancer, US scientists say.

They said they found that a patient's positive or negative emotional state had no direct bearing on cancer survival or disease progression.

The University of Pennsylvania team followed more than 1,000 patients with head and neck cancer.

But experts said the Cancer journal study should not deter people from adopting a "fighting spirit".

Indeed, a positive outlook can help patients cope with gruelling cancer therapies and resume a "normal" life, a spokeswoman for Macmillan Cancer Support said.

It's only one study, and not actually that useful since human nature is such that nobody is going to tell a patient not to "fight" the cancer. But it is interesting because it negates (up to the various caveats) a bit of pop psychology.

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