CSN Login
Members Online: 6

You are here

Mental power and cancer.

lp1964's picture
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013

My sister's neighbor just passed away after suffering from a gynecological cancer. She didn't know and didnt care what kind of cancer it was, what treatment she received from wich doctor. She just wanted to be healed, but didn't care how. I shared a room with a man during chemo. He had a colon cancer recurrence and same thing: he didnt know what kind of cancer it was, where was the location, what kind of chemo he was getting and he just threw himself under the first s surgeon's knife who "may have missed this second tumor".

I believe it is essemtial and beneficial to be aware of the details of your illness and owning your problem. Without knowing what it is, where it is, what the treatment involves and trusting this treatment and the medical professionals who administer it, you decrease your chance of recovering. There is this phenomenon called "placebo effect" and that is based on your mental powers believing in the medicine and this is a very strong component in the efficiency of the treatment. 

At the same time I also believe that becoming a fanatic and making the cancer a singular center of your life is just as bad as being ignorant, because being so involved may cause you a lot of anxiety and you may also neglect a large portion of your normal life.

I believe that awareness, knowledge, trust, faith and belief will help you to heal.

What do you think?


kennyt's picture
Posts: 110
Joined: Jun 2013

I agree. I try to forget when I can I even have this disease as hard as it may be  and give it my full attention when need be.

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

what kind of cancer they had.  That's very strange.   I can't see any doctor putting a patient into tx without telling them what they were being treated for.  Unless the patients had dementia or something of that nature?  Very odd...

But as for it affecting your ability to beat cancer, well...I think all the things you mention are important and will certainly make each day you survive a little more pleasant, but it won't determine whether you live or die.  I've known way too many people who were informed, positive, determined people who died anyway.  That's just the way cancer is.

maglets's picture
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

I would be very hesitant to say any approach works or helps to really really influence the outcome.......I say do whatever you want to do and do what feels right for you.  I have met people from both camps....I have known people in treatment who have binders and files filled with stuff....and you are right Laz ...some people seem to make it the utter focus of their universe.  Other people genuinely do not want to know and i say more power to them......AA is right....."that's just the way cancer is"  

I wonder how you are feeling these days Laz......are you totally mobile?

lp1964's picture
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013

I'm moving around, doing my thing, cooking, light house work and a lot of walking. I tried driving, but it's still very painful to sit. Will start 6 rounds of folfox on Monday.

I'm not saying that being informed and aware is everything. But I believe it increases the chance for survival if you trust and believe.


Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5399
Joined: Jan 2013

My best mate's dad passed this year from Colon Cancer. He too didn't want to know anything about his condition, size, stage, and he wasn't too keen on the treatments and wouldn't follow the Doctor's recomendations. Chances are he would have died in any case, but a bit of knowledge may have helped him.

When I worked in OBGYN, I chaperoned a lady (proabably mid 60's) having a pelvic. The Doctor, feeling a cuff instead of a cervix asked if she had had a hysterectomy; her reply I'll never forget "I had some kind of surgery down there".  She had no idea that she had her uterus removed. 

Ignorance is bliss?! Maybe, maybe not. 

I just purchased a book 'Mindfulness-based Cancer Recovery'.  Shall see how it reads and report here maybe.

Posts: 1019
Joined: Aug 2013

My mom was like that. When my brother had NHL in 2000, she was in denial and wouldn't acknowledge that my brother had cancer. We were told if she ever got sick, she didn't want to know about it.

I'm just the opposite. I need to know every detail and what the options are. I don't take any doctor's words as gold. Everyone is different and I think many people just deal with it the best way they can.

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

Some people just don't want to know anything.  They will trust a doctor because he/she is a "doctor" and they must know the best for their situation.  My father didn't know anything about my mother's cancer nor could he tell me really what was wrong with her and he just told me that my mom didn't tell him much, but I'm just not sure my mom asked much either.  People have to know what type of cancer they have because the doctor definitely would discuss it with them and I'm thinking it's much more of them not listening than anything else.  You are right, there are few people that take the disease cure to much to task and forget about their family, friends, jobs and just plain living and focus only on themselves and will spend whatever it takes to find another path, another treatment, another doctor and that is labelled addiction.  This board has helped me tremendously and I'm so grateful for someone steering me here as there is so much knowledge that the others could provide me.


tanstaafl's picture
Posts: 1299
Joined: Oct 2010

Certainly not knowing anything, taking no interest has more exposure to common place errors and loses some opportunities, series that can rapidly translate into months and years of quality life, lost or not gained.  Despair and depression may be foes that need to be overcome. 

How much involvement depends on the person and circumstances. For some, over the top is doable and useful. Each right answer counts; wrong ones may count several times more or conclude the match. Timing counts too.  In stage IVb, a perfect match might buy a year, or three extra; then you volley again.  In stage II, III a good serve or two upfront might even win a lifetime.  

We deal with a lot of unknowns. Many answers that should have been available from the start, require a snipe hunt first and typically throw the timing part off.  There are usually no guarantees right now.

Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

Well all I can say is that I've read many stories on here about people trying many things, educating themselves,  having faith and being very positive that they would beat it....and they died.    My father on the other hand went through treatment for stage 4 lymphoma 2 times...knows nothing about his treatment, etc...is the least positive person you'd ever meet - and is still here years later.   Sometimes it all seems like a crap shoot.

Geez just think of Ren - if anyone could have made it by determination, will and education it would have been him.

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

that might, in some cases,  affect one's prognosis is to be an active, at times perhaps even pushy, participant in our own care.  This is simply not possible for a lot of people, but if the patient (or caregiver) can advocate for him- or herself, it might make a difference.  Sometimes!  In my case, it was fighting for PET scans when my doctor wanted to go back to CT scans (after this type of scan had been definitely shown to not work in my case).  I've seen other people advocate for themselves by seeking out 2nd opinions, promising alternative therapies, etc.

But this can be hard to do, esp once you factor in age, cultural issues, income, where you live, etc.  There are many reasons why people don't operate in an informed manner.  And as Jen says, when someone like Ren can't beat it...

As for "belief and trust", which is of course a different thing than being an informed advocate, that also seems to not play much role in ultimate survival, as far as I can tell.  Having lived at Camp Cancer for four years now, I've met a lot of deeply faithful people who are no longer with us.

lp1964's picture
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013

What I'm saying is that knowledge, awareness, trust, believing in the treatment and your doctors, faith makes only a statistical difference and cannot be applied to one individual case. If that was the case, Ren should have never died, considering the knowledge he had and the effort he put into his treatment. Or my 88 year old aunt should have been dead years ago from her orange size breast cancers saying she has no time for treatment because she has to take care of her 1 acre land.

I believe your involvement gives you a statistical advantage that we all need.


Posts: 509
Joined: Sep 2012

I feel like this is an individual basis.  Some find comfort in knowing and having some "control" in their care while others may find this approach just too stressful.  

Some people are "fanatical" by nature.  If this is who they are, then this is right for them.  What may create stress for some may be comforting to others.  

We are all so different in our life experiences which make us who we are and how we deal with these situations.  There is no right or wrong.  

Our doctors and nurses are hopefully trained well enough to see this in thier patients and adapt to those needs.  

Our outcome depends on so many different factors.  I do not believe it is just one thing.  We are complex beings. 

This disease is just awful and touches too many people, every age, babies to elderly .. it makes no difference ... 


Good to hear you are up and about .. getting back to your new normal.  Keep on walking.  My best to you as you start your FOLFOX.





thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

Some people believe they should pilot their lives and some believe they are projectiles.  


Some people want to know what their treatment options are and be active in their role in their health. (Pilots)

Some people want their treatment to be told to them. (Projectiles)


Life is perspective. I take ownership of my life and it's destiny.  I take an active role in my exercise, and diet.  Feeling this is a vital part of my health.


Best Always,  mike

Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

I am like you Mike. I felt like I had to be proactive doing everything I can since day one. I do understand why some choose not to be proactive. Sometimes I feel like putting my head in the sand and not do any more scans but that is not part of my makeup.

I say to eash his or her on.

Subscribe to Comments for "Mental power and cancer."