The purpose of this blog is purely educational. It does not advise any reader to forgo medical treatment for any condition. It describes methods that have not yet been proven effective through widespread scientific testing. Readers who are concerned about their health are advised to contact their physician.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The mind is a powerful thing - part 3

And the evidence for the connection of the psychological to the physical and its effect on cancer sufferers just keeps mounting ... The latest is a study that shows that stress undermines the effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Patients are advised to avoid stress for two days prior their cancer treatment:
[C]ancer cell survival can be traced to the presence of heat shock factor-1, which previous research has linked to stress. Ohio State University researchers first noticed that this common protein can help heart tissue survive in a toxic environment, leading the scientists to suspect that in cancer, this phenomenon could have serious consequences.

A series of experiments using breast cancer cells showed that a protein activated by the presence of heat shock factor-1 could block the process that kills cancer cells even after the cells’ DNA was damaged by radiation. The same was true when the cells were subjected to a common chemotherapy drug.

The researchers hope to develop a drug that could suppress heat shock factor-1 as a supplement to cancer therapy, but in the meantime, they recommend that patients avoid both psychological and physical stress in the days leading up to a cancer treatment.
I will have to hazard a guess here, not having had any personal experience in the matter, but I would think that one of the greatest stresses one could possibly have is living with a cancer diagnosis, and that the days leading up to one's treatment, in which one expects to be injected with deadly poisons or bombarded by deadly X-rays, are not likely to be stress-free either. It is very difficult to be equanimous when one is living in fear of losing one's life or in fear of significant and impending discomfort or pain.

And leaving conventional cancer treatments aside, I would also wonder what kind of effect this same stress would have on alternative cancer treatments, whatever they may be, and what kind of effect removing stress from one's life would have on one's survival from cancer, with or without treatment.


Eric Berger said...

Thank you for these very interesting posts! I'm interested in studying energy healing particularly the Bengston method.

Judith said...

My pleasure. I am always happy to hear that people enjoy reading the blog. I welcome comments and opinions.