Preventing cancer step 3


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Preventing cancer step 3

  1. 1. Cancer: Step 3 – Stress Reduction
  2. 2. affects us physically and psychologically. In the case of aperceived threat such as cancer, the body undergoes a build up ofinternal tension to prepare for swift and powerful action. Understressful circumstances, the brain signals the adrenal glands toproduce corticosteroids, hormones which weaken the immuneresponse. Corticosteroids exert such a powerful immune-suppressiveeffect that synthetic steroids are widely used as drugs to suppressimmunity in allergic conditions and the rejection of transplantedorgans. Cancerous processes are accelerated in the presence of largeamounts of corticosteroids and other stress-related hormones.
  3. 3. the stress-related emotional factors that play a role in reducing cancer resistanceare depression, grief, repressed anger, hopelessness, helplessness and a high degree ofpassivity or social conformity. Certain cancers have also been associated with distressinglife events. For example, the risk of developing breast cancer is significantly higher if thewoman has experienced the loss of a spouse or close friend. A recent cancer research studynotes that major stressful life events can contribute to cancer morbidity.Stressful experiences can strongly influence the risk of contracting a type of skin cancercalled melanoma cancer. Cancer researchers at Yale University examined the effect ofmajor life events on the cancer study of 56 melanoma cancer patients versus a controlgroup of 56 general surgical patients. Among the melanoma cancer patients, there hadbeen significantly more divorces or marital separations, bankruptcies, unemployment anddeath of a spouse or family member in the five years prior to their cancer diagnosis.
  4. 4. cancer research studies have shown that NK cell activity is depressedin individuals under stress. In light of these findings, Sandra Levy, Ph.D andher coworkers at the Pittsburg Cancer Institute contend that NK cell activity isan important predictor of prognosis in breast cancer and have accounted fora significant portion of the NK cell suppression on the basis of stress factors.No scientific evidence has yet found that stress and emotions can directlycause cancer. The most plausible link to cancer is an indirect effect via theimmune system. When immunity is weakened by stress, particularly in thepresence of biological stressors such as a fatty diet or environmentalpollution, then cancer can thrive and grow.
  5. 5. Personality Linked with Cancer PreventionA recent cancer research study of melanoma cancerpatients found that those with the most “major lifestress” in their backgrounds actually showed a greaterwill to confront and fight their cancer and lessavoidance of the cancer disease’s frightening aspects.
  6. 6. connecting personality to cancer prevention datesback to at least second-century Greek physician Galen whonoted a higher incidence of cancer in “melancholy” womenas opposed to “sanguine” women. A 1988 study of 36 womenwith recurrent breast cancer found that positive attitudeswere associated with longer periods of breast cancer survivalrates. In another cancer study, 2,020 men were followed fora period 17 years. Those who scored highest on depressiontests had twice the rate of cancer deaths.
  7. 7. Temoshok of the University of California, based on her psychologicalsurveys of thousands of cancer patients, has identified a group of “nice”cancer patients who exhibit the Type C personality. Cancer patients with thispersonality are passive, unassertive and eager to please and refuse to letanger, fear or other strong negative feelings leak out. Even in the face of alife threatening disease such as cancer, Type C individuals will appearcomposed. Suppression of emotions appears to be linked to higher cancer risk,especially breast cancer and melanoma cancer. Type C’s may also have aworse prognosis when they hear about their cancer diagnosis like the case ofunassertive, compliant women who tend to have a shorter survival time formetastatic breast cancer. On the other hand, women who show a “fightingspirit” – a combative attitude toward the cancer disease – appear to have alonger cancer-free interval and overall longer survival.
  8. 8. Type C theory includes poor diets and nutritionalimbalances that have left them more susceptible to cancer.It’s excessive smoking, drinking, and poor eating habitsthat account for cancer deaths among bachelors accordingto a cancer study done at the University of California, SanFrancisco.
  9. 9. The Anti-Cancer Mind: Cancer Prevention Through Relaxation MethodsVarious cancer studies also suggest that the mind can enhance ourimmunity against cancer, thus having a stronger chance for cancerprevention. Dr. Steven Locke, director of the Psychoimmunology ResearchProject at Harvard Medical School, describes more than 200 studies onthe treatment of cancer by “mind/body” methods. Among methods oftenused by cancer patients are those which reduce anxiety, such asmeditation relaxation techniques. A reduction in the anxiety,depression and helplessness that often accompany the cancer disease canmake it easier to make decisions about the treatment of cancer.
  10. 10. cancer support group can also provide invaluable emotionalstability and relief. Being around healthy and positive people isalso important in battling the cancer disease. Healthy andplayful children are good companions during times oftreatment for cancer. Based on his extensive work with cancerpatients, Dr. Bernie Siegel notes that cancer survivors who enjoya high quality of life tend to express their anger and othernegative emotions freely. He encourages friends and familymembers of cancer patients to become the cancer help andsupport group of the cancer patient during the healing process.
  11. 11. MeditationJust as rest supports the immune system in times of stress, meditation may be one ofthe more effective ways of relaxing the body and strengthening its anti-cancerdefenses. The idea of meditation is not to suppress, analyze or judge these aspects ofthe psyche – even those that seem negative or disturbing. Practicing this for 15 to 20minutes at a time results in a kind of dynamic awareness in which the mind isalertly attentive, yet also tranquil. One begins to enjoy the simpler pleasures in life,and attitude improves dramatically.Whether or not meditation is capable of cancer prevention or treatment of cancerremains to be proven. However meditation can be a helpful adjunct to any cancerprevention or treatment for cancer program, mainly by helping the meditator feelmore at peace and more in control of cancer’s stressful aspects.
  12. 12. Imagery and Relaxation TrainingRelaxation training involves a variety of techniques designed to induce relaxation in themuscles, which then produces a sense of calm and imagery refers to the creation andinterpretation of mental images. In theory, these methods could promote enhancedimmune system functioning. The cancer patients at the Simonton Cancer Center inPalisades, California, uses relaxation and mental imagery daily to motivate themselves tomake positive changes in their lives and to recover their health after battling cancer. Afteran initial period of relaxation, the cancer patient is instructed to visualize the cancertumor as a soft, weak, disorganized mass of cells. Conventional treatment of cancer eithercancer chemotherapy or cancer radiation, is then visualized as strongly effective, capableof shrinking the cancer tumors and destroying stray cancer cells. The cancer patient isurged to visualize defending himself or herself against cancer through an aggressiveimmune system in which white blood cells act as a powerful army easily overwhelming thepesky cancer cells. Dead and dying cancer tumor cells are visualized as being flushed outof the body until all the cancer cells are gone. Finally, the patient is instructed to imaginehim or herself as healthy, vital and fulfilled.
  13. 13. studies suggest that relaxation training can improveone’s ability to cope with the unpleasant effects of cancerand may also augment the body’s ability to fight the cancerdisease. Whether or not cancer survival rates actuallyincrease, these cancer researches indicate that the quality oflife cancer patients definitely improves with the regular useof imagery and relaxation techniques.There is a great book that shows you specific ways to reduceor eliminate stress from your life! Stress kills, so pleasevisit Stress-help and get the book, it may save your life!
  14. 14. Exercise and StressHow does exercise reduce stress?Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your steps every day. Butexercise also has some direct stress-busting benefits.* It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps tobump up the production of your brain’s feel-goodneurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although thisfunction is often referred to as a runner’s high, a rousinggame of tennis or a nature hike also can contribute to thissame feeling.
  15. 15.•It’s meditation in movement. After a fast-paced game of racquetball orseveral laps in the pool, you’ll often find that you’ve forgotten the day’sdilemmas and irritations and concentrated only on your body’smovements. As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions throughmovement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a singletask, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calmand clear in everything that you do.* It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidenceand lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety.This can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command overyour body and your life.Please read our post on another weapon against cancer; exercise!
  16. 16. Supplements can Help with StressOne effective method of stress relief management involves theuse of vitamins. Taking in extra nutrients helps to ensurethat the body will have adequate amounts in store tocombat stress. Among the most important stress vitamins arethe B-complex vitamins and the Vitamin C.