The power of positive thinking might help, but it won’t beat cancer

People who are told that they have cancer are often advised to stay positive. But doing so does nothing to help you to survive the disease, according to a study.

The self-help guru Louise Hay extolled the virtues of positive thinking in her book, You Can Heal Your Life, which has sold 35 million copies worldwide over the past 20 years. Some small studies have suggested a benefit.

But the latest study, published in the journal Cancer, provides strong evidence that while it may be good advice to remain as upbeat as possible, the cancer doesn't take any notice.

James Coyne, of the University of Pennsylvania, said that previous studies used patients with many different diseases, small sample sizes and an inadequate number of deaths to be conclusive.Instead, he used data from two studies of patients with head and neck cancer to examine whether emotional wellbeing at the time the study started had any effect on survival.

His sample consisted of 1,093 patients who completed a quality-of-life questionnaire during treatment.

This included an emotional wellbeing (EWB) scale, which was calculated by asking participants how closely various statements such as "I feel sad" and "I am losing hope in my fight against my illness" reflected their own personal feelings.

The higher the score on the EWB scale, the more emotional wellbeing and the less depression.

Over the course of the study, 646 of the patients died. The analysis showed that emotional status was not linked to survival.

Source - Daily Mail

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