Preventing cancer step 3


Published on

Preventing cancer step 3 -

Published in: Health & Medicine
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Preventing cancer step 3

  1. 1. Preventing Cancer: Step 3 – Stress ReductionStress affects us physically and psychologically. In the case of a perceived threat such as cancer, thebody undergoes a build up of internal tension to prepare for swift and powerful action. Under stressfulcircumstances, the brain signals the adrenal glands to produce corticosteroids, hormones whichweaken the immune response. Corticosteroids exert such a powerful immune-suppressive effect thatsynthetic steroids are widely used as drugs to suppress immunity in allergic conditions and therejection of transplanted organs. Cancerous processes are accelerated in the presence of large amountsof corticosteroids and other stress-related hormones.Among the stress-related emotional factors that play a role in reducing cancer resistance aredepression, grief, repressed anger, hopelessness, helplessness and a high degree of passivity or socialconformity. Certain cancers have also been associated with distressing life events. For example, the riskof developing breast cancer is significantly higher if the woman has experienced the loss of a spouse orclose friend. A recent cancer research study notes that major stressful life events can contribute tocancer morbidity.Stressful experiences can strongly influence the risk of contracting a type of skin cancer calledmelanoma cancer. Cancer researchers at Yale University examined the effect of major life events on thecancer study of 56 melanoma cancer patients versus a control group of 56 general surgical patients.Among the melanoma cancer patients, there had been significantly more divorces or maritalseparations, bankruptcies, unemployment and death of a spouse or family member in the five yearsprior to their cancer diagnosis.Several cancer research studies have shown that NK cell activity is depressed in individuals understress. In light of these findings, Sandra Levy, Ph.D and her coworkers at the Pittsburg Cancer Institutecontend that NK cell activity is an important predictor of prognosis in breast cancer and haveaccounted for a significant portion of the NK cell suppression on the basis of stress factors.No scientific evidence has yet found that stress and emotions can directly cause cancer. The mostplausible link to cancer is an indirect effect via the immune system. When immunity is weakened bystress, particularly in the presence of biological stressors such as a fatty diet or environmentalpollution, then cancer can thrive and grow.
  2. 2. Personality Linked with Cancer PreventionA recent cancer research study of melanoma cancer patients found that those with the most “major lifestress” in their backgrounds actually showed a greater will to confront and fight their cancer and lessavoidance of the cancer disease’s frightening aspects.Theories connecting personality to cancer prevention dates back to at least second-century Greekphysician Galen who noted a higher incidence of cancer in “melancholy” women as opposed to“sanguine” women. A 1988 study of 36 women with recurrent breast cancer found that positiveattitudes were associated with longer periods of breast cancer survival rates. In another cancer study,2,020 men were followed for a period 17 years. Those who scored highest on depression tests had twicethe rate of cancer deaths.Lydia Temoshok of the University of California, based on her psychological surveys of thousands ofcancer patients, has identified a group of “nice” cancer patients who exhibit the Type C personality.Cancer patients with this personality are passive, unassertive and eager to please and refuse to letanger, fear or other strong negative feelings leak out. Even in the face of a life threatening diseasesuch as cancer, Type C individuals will appear composed. Suppression of emotions appears to be linkedto higher cancer risk, especially breast cancer and melanoma cancer. Type C’s may also have a worseprognosis when they hear about their cancer diagnosis like the case of unassertive, compliant womenwho tend to have a shorter survival time for metastatic breast cancer. On the other hand, women whoshow a “fighting spirit” – a combative attitude toward the cancer disease – appear to have a longercancer-free interval and overall longer survival.Another Type C theory includes poor diets and nutritional imbalances that have left them moresusceptible to cancer. It’s excessive smoking, drinking, and poor eating habits that account for cancerdeaths among bachelors according to a cancer study done at the University of California, SanFrancisco. The Anti-Cancer Mind: Cancer Prevention Through Relaxation MethodsVarious cancer studies also suggest that the mind can enhance our immunity against cancer, thushaving a stronger chance for cancer prevention. Dr. Steven Locke, director of the PsychoimmunologyResearch Project at Harvard Medical School, describes more than 200 studies on the treatment ofcancer by “mind/body” methods. Among methods often used by cancer patients are those which reduceanxiety, such as meditation relaxation techniques. A reduction in the anxiety, depression andhelplessness that often accompany the cancer disease can make it easier to make decisions about thetreatment of cancer.A cancer support group can also provide invaluable emotional stability and relief. Being aroundhealthy and positive people is also important in battling the cancer disease. Healthy and playfulchildren are good companions during times of treatment for cancer. Based on his extensive work withcancer patients, Dr. Bernie Siegel notes that cancer survivors who enjoy a high quality of life tend toexpress their anger and other negative emotions freely. He encourages friends and family members ofcancer patients to become the cancer help and support group of the cancer patient during the healingprocess.
  3. 3. MeditationJust as rest supports the immune system in times of stress, meditation may be one of the more effectiveways of relaxing the body and strengthening its anti-cancer defenses. The idea of meditation is not tosuppress, analyze or judge these aspects of the psyche – even those that seem negative or disturbing.Practicing this for 15 to 20 minutes at a time results in a kind of dynamic awareness in which themind is alertly attentive, yet also tranquil. One begins to enjoy the simpler pleasures in life, andattitude improves dramatically.Whether or not meditation is capable of cancer prevention or treatment of cancer remains to beproven. However meditation can be a helpful adjunct to any cancer prevention or treatment for cancerprogram, mainly by helping the meditator feel more at peace and more in control of cancer’s stressfulaspects. Imagery and Relaxation TrainingRelaxation training involves a variety of techniques designed to induce relaxation in the muscles,which then produces a sense of calm and imagery refers to the creation and interpretation of mentalimages. In theory, these methods could promote enhanced immune system functioning. The cancerpatients at the Simonton Cancer Center in Palisades, California, uses relaxation and mental imagerydaily to motivate themselves to make positive changes in their lives and to recover their health afterbattling cancer. After an initial period of relaxation, the cancer patient is instructed to visualize thecancer tumor as a soft, weak, disorganized mass of cells. Conventional treatment of cancer eithercancer chemotherapy or cancer radiation, is then visualized as strongly effective, capable of shrinkingthe cancer tumors and destroying stray cancer cells. The cancer patient is urged to visualizedefending himself or herself against cancer through an aggressive immune system in which whiteblood cells act as a powerful army easily overwhelming the pesky cancer cells. Dead and dying cancertumor cells are visualized as being flushed out of the body until all the cancer cells are gone. Finally,the patient is instructed to imagine him or herself as healthy, vital and fulfilled.Other studies suggest that relaxation training can improve one’s ability to cope with the unpleasanteffects of cancer and may also augment the body’s ability to fight the cancer disease. Whether or notcancer survival rates actually increase, these cancer researches indicate that the quality of life cancerpatients definitely improves with the regular use of imagery and relaxation techniques.There is a great book that shows you specific ways to reduce or eliminate stress from your life! Stresskills, so please visit Stress-help and get the book, it may save your life!
  4. 4. Exercise and StressHow does exercise reduce stress?Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your stepsevery day. But exercise also has some direct stress-busting benefits.* It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps to bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’shigh, a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike also can contribute to this same feeling.* It’s meditation in movement. After a fast-paced game of racquetball or several laps in the pool, you’lloften find that you’ve forgotten the day’s dilemmas and irritations and concentrated only on yourbody’s movements. As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physicalactivity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, canhelp you remain calm and clear in everything that you do.* It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence and lower the symptomsassociated with mild depression and anxiety. This can ease your stress levels and give you a sense ofcommand over your body and your life.Please read our post on another weapon against cancer; exercise! Supplements can Help with StressOne effective method of stress relief management involves the use of vitamins. Taking in extranutrients helps to ensure that the body will have adequate amounts in store to combat stress. Amongthe most important stress vitamins are the B-complex vitamins and the Vitamin C.