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Can Staying Positive Extend Your Life?

January 29, 2014 By RHP Staff

The latest study in Lancet medical journal has strengthened the belief that a positive outlook can keep cancer at bay and give new hope to staying alive. Six dozen patients who were recovering from breast cancer were the basis for the study. The individuals who showed a fighting spirit and reacted to their situation positively had a better survival rate and reduced signs of residual cancer than the people who experienced feelings of despair and hopelessness. Additional studies seem to back this evidence up, allowing the optimal benefits to get admitted into the medical doctrine.

On the pessimistic side, multiple studies have also found the evidence to be lacking. Neither positive nor negative emotions were shown to impact the outcome and prognosis of those suffering from a serious illness. While there will always be new claims to the power of positivity, experts believe that the earlier results were based on the importance of a person’s living conditions, health, and their happiness.

While the data may be lacking, the powerful belief may be doing widespread damage. Patients battling cancer may try to act happy and upbeat when they’re actually feeling down and distraught, especially if their disease progresses. It could also keep them from getting treatment or solace during their time of need. Positive thinking could even complicate future research since it can be difficult to tell if a patient is suppressing their actual feelings or truly retaining a conquering spirit.

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