Emotions of Cancer Patients

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Recently, scientists and researches were struggling to figure out if emotions of cancer patients ultimately help their survival rate. In the past, people have hoped that if patients keep an optimistic attitude toward cancer and their survival, it will actually benefit them and their health. Lately though, scientists are proving otherwise. They are suddenly realizing that patient’s emotional status does not impact survival rates of cancer patients. Many want this discovery to be wrong and are determined to prove it. This debate on whether or not emotions affect cancer is continuously progressing and new research is being done every day.
Scientists are discovering that what many believed in the past about emotions and cancer is actually wrong. In a recent study done by Dr. James Coyne from the University of Pennsylvania, they suggested that “Emotional status was not associated with survival rate. A person's emotions were not associated with survival even after taking into account other factors, such as gender, tumor site or disease stage”. This elaborate experiment helps us understand that emotions in the end will not impact the rate of survival in cancer patients. After Dr. James Coyne tested a group of 1,093 patients with head and neck cancer, 646 patients died. They studied the emotional status of each patient, and in the end, their emotions did not impact how long they ended up surviving. This shows that while dealing with cancer, patient’s emotions will not affect how much longer patients live. Throughout history, many people have believed that there are strong connections between patient’s emotional status and their physical status. In some cases, this may be true, but concerning cancer victims, scientists are now realizing this theory doesn’t apply to them. Keeping a positive outlook on life while struggling with cancer is important and will increase the quality of the remainder of patient’s life but it will not save it.
Although there is evidence suggesting that emotions do not affect cancer, people are still confident that despite what scientists have discovered, emotions are still linked to survival in cancer patients. Psychoneuroimmunology explores the connection between psychological and spiritual conditions and physical well-being. Going through cancer and all the treatments that come along with it can be exhausting. It has the ability to set the mind into a state of depression and can emotionally wear out patients. Studies have shown that using techniques to encourage relaxation can actually help you recover from cancer and make treatment easier. If treatment is easier and less exhausting, patients will remain more positive. Also, sorrow can bring about much damage to the body such as nausea, lack of sleep, and others, which makes fighting cancer more difficult. People remain hopeful about these alternative ways to fight cancer and regardless of whether or not scientists agree with this or not, they will continue to believe in this theory. Being positive about surviving will most likely make life easier, but in the long run, it will not cure the patient.
Scientific evidence shows that emotions have nothing to do with the affects cancer has on patients. This discovery may be upsetting to people, especially those going through cancer, but there is much evidence supporting this realization. Experiments have been made showing that emotions such as depression, anger, and tension, do not affect the overall survival rate of the patient.

This study, conducted by Seattle Longitudinal Assessment of Cancer Survival (SLACS), shows that when a patient is experiencing depression, there is little difference in the survival rate from the patients that have no depression to those with severe depression. The percent of patients surviving with an extreme amount of depression was 47.9%. The percent of patients surviving with no depression was 51.7%. As you can see, there is little difference between the percent surviving with or without depression. Although 3.8% more patients survived while dealing without depression, this could have been affected by other factors such as the type of cancer and the severity of the cancer affecting the patients. Gender and age could have possibly affected the final outcome as well.
Fighting cancer can be emotionally exhausting. It can create depression, anxiety, tension, anger, and more. Even though cancer can affect patient’s emotions, by changing their emotions in the first place, there will ultimately be no significant difference in their survival rate. People are determined to prove this wrong because it’s a belief that’s been around for years but unfortunately, science has proved this wrong.





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