Patients who experience anxiety and depression after being diagnosed with advanced lung cancer are more likely to die sooner, according to new research from the University of British Columbia and BC Cancer Agency.
The study, published this month in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, is among the first to examine the effect of anxiety and depression on survival rates for lung cancer patients. The findings build on similar previous research looking at breast cancer patients, further deepening scientists’ understanding of the effect of psychosocial factors on survival rates for patients diagnosed with cancer.
Dr. Stegall’s Comments: I am not surprised by these results. We know that there is a significant link between the mind and the body, and that our thoughts and emotions have a significant effect on our body’s physiology and biochemistry – and thus our health. Dr. Hamer, a German physician, postulated that all cancer types can be tied to specific emotional triggers. This is termed German New Medicine, and I think it is a fascinating concept. I always incorporate mind-body medicine in my treatment protocols. This can take on many forms, including relaxation techniques, prayer, meditation, breathing exercises, and hypnotherapy, to name a few. We must conquer the battlefield of the mind in order to give ourselves the best chance for success.