Mental and Emotional Health Help Prevent Breast Cancer; Traumatic Events Raise Risk

Mar 27, 2009 by

Mental and Emotional Health Help Prevent Breast Cancer; Traumatic Events Raise Risk

When you are happy, optimistic and positive, your body’s immune system responds happily and healthily, too. On the other hand, when you are sad, depressed, angry or pessimistic, your immune system also gets depressed, and your body produces all sorts of harmful chemicals.

It is therefore not surprising at all that being happy and optimistic is critical for good health, including preventing and fighting cancer. In fact, profiling studies carried out on cancer patients indicate that some sort of underlying emotional issue is usually present. And, some schools of healing, such as German New Medicine, focus on emotional health and healing.

The following article describes an Israeli study which demonstrated the importance of happiness and positivity in preventing breast cancer.

Importance of Happiness and Optimistic Attitudes in Preventing Breast Cancer

by Reuben Chow

Want to lower your risk of getting breast cancer? Recent research in Israel published in the British journal BMC Cancer has given us one more thing to take note of.

Breast Cancer Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, after non-melanoma skin cancer, cancer of the breast is the next one which most commonly afflicts American women. In 2004 alone, over 185,000 women and more than 1,800 men were diagnosed with the disease, while almost 41,000 women and 362 men actually died because of breast cancer.

Overall, in that year, breast cancer was the number five killer of American women, while being their number two cancer killer. For Hispanic women, breast cancer was also the type of cancer which caused the most deaths.

These numbers do not make for good reading at all. What actually causes breast cancer, and what can we do to stave it off?

Possible Causes of Breast Cancer

Those who are familiar with natural health and healing will know that breast cancer, like all other forms of cancer, can be prevented and even treated using powerful dietary and lifestyle choices, such as consuming enough fiber, exercising regularly, as well as getting enough sunshine and vitamin D.

What is also clear is that breast cancer, again like all forms of cancer, is a multi-factorial disease which needs to be tackled from various angles.

Recent research at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel has given us one more piece of the jigsaw – it seems that happiness and optimistic attitudes may reduce one’s risk of contracting the disease. On the flip side, adverse life events may increase one’s susceptibility to it.

Details of the Study

For the study, 622 women aged between 25 and 45 were asked about their life experiences, and researchers then assessed their levels of optimism, happiness, anxiety and depression before diagnosis. This information was then used to draw a link between life events, psychological distress and the occurrence of breast cancer. Of the participants, 255 were breast cancer patients, while the other 367 had never had cancer.

According to Professor Ronit Peled, the leader of the study, its findings “showed a clear link between outlook and risk of breast cancer, with optimists 25 percent less likely to have developed the disease”.

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