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outrage over this article.

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i read this and, if i could find the author, i would inject her with a vile of cancer cells and tell her, "bummer, i guess you have to just lay there and die now!!"

i am outraged over this!!!!

Should our loved ones just sit in chairs and die!!!!!

Hope not seen helping cancer patients

Positive attitude doesn't impact survival, study findsThe Associated Press

Updated: 12:40 p.m. ET Feb. 09, 2004A positive attitude does not improve cancer survival, and doctors who encourage patients to keep up hope may be burdening them, according to a small study released Monday.

Optimism made no difference in the fate of most of the 179 cancer patients that Australian researchers followed over five years. Only eight people were still living by the time the study ended in 2001.

All the patients studied were suffering from a common form of lung cancer.

First scientific look at optimism and cancer

Although the study was small and dealt with a kind of cancer that offers little chance for survival (about 12 percent of patients live beyond five years), health experts say it is the first scientifically valid look at optimism and cancer. The results surprised researchers, who expected optimistic patients to live longer than their hopeless counterparts.

'If a patients feels generally pessimistic ... it is important to acknowledge these feelings as valid and acceptable.'

— Penelope Schofield

Lead author of study

Patients are burdened by trying to maintain a positive outlook during their difficult situations, said researchers from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia, and five other health centers in an article published Monday in the journal Cancer.

The study found that optimism dimmed when patients experienced the toxic effects of cancer treatment and when they learned more about the realities of the disease.

"We should question whether it is valuable to encourage optimism if it results in the patient concealing his or her distress in the misguided belief that this will afford survival benefits," the study's lead author Penelope Schofield wrote. "If a patients feels generally pessimistic ... it is important to acknowledge these feelings as valid and acceptable."

Effect on quality of life

Although optimism may not help cancer patients live longer, it can help patients in other ways, according to the American Cancer Society, which publishes the journal Cancer.

A positive attitude can help lead to healthier eating habits, stopping smoking, drinking less, exercising more and learning more information about one's disease and treatment options. Cancer patients have learned to live with therapy, avoid fatigue and even have returned to work, said Dr. LaMar McGinnis, senior medical consultant for the Atlanta-based society.

"It is disappointing they don't reflect on quality of life," McGinnis said. "We did not have any illusions that optimism influences therapy but we do believe that optimism and hope does influence the quality of life a patient has."

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I guess the writer of the article has not had a close member die from cancer. I suppose if I had that attitude I would have curled up and died 3 YEARS ago. I am still functioning very well. Positive thinking does make a difference, you feel better and enjoy life. As the old cliche' says-I could get hit by a bus 8)

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Funny you mentioned this about positive attitude. My hubby came home from work today and he was all PO'd about what he heard on the radio regarding some (his words) STUPID STUDY, some ding bat wrote that having a positive attitude doesn't cure cancer." NOW mind you this is how he relayed the message to me. I'm pretty sure the article your talking about is the same thing he heard on the radio. He was pretty upset too! :evil: I chuckled and said, "no one ever said having a positive attitude cures cancer, but it sure as hell helps us get through each and every day of having to live with it".

I have heard this dumb comment before, but I just brush it off to some people just don't know any better! GOD HELP HER, if she ever gets a life threatening disease. I guess she will just WALLOW in her self PITTY!

I'm glad that's not ME!!


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I find the article pretty strange also. I looked into it a bit more and it seems the American Cancer Society is having this study published in its Journal called "Cancer" Interdisciplinary International Journal of the American Cancer Society.

The article is about 1/4 of the way down and is to be released in "print" on March 15 2004.

http://jws-edck.wiley.com:8090/Cancer/N ... e?OpenView


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That's junk research if I've ever seen it. A sample of 179 is not large enough to detect the influence of optimism on survival while controlling for stage of disease, histologic type, treatment, & other coexisting illnesses. Any effect would surely be small relative to the biologic factors, and it takes large samples to detect small effects. Trash.

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I was thinking if we could find an email address for the American Cancer Society, the whole board could write them and explain how this article, that is based on a very small group of patients is going to have a tremendous negative effect on cancer patients as a whole. Can you imagine how optimistic people are going to be treated at their future appointments. Some people are just going to "give up" when the doctor tells/shows them the article. Maybe someone can post a link to this thread in General so we can get more people involved.


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We discussed this at our meeting of the lung cancer support group at the Univ of Wisc, today. The psychologist, who is our facilitator, said the same thing that most of have repeated here, first of all the number of patients involved is very smal and the study may have been limited by funds. This study was conducted in Australia and there is no comparitive study at the moment. Her comments, included the fact that she is a scientist, and does not lend any creditability to the study. She believes that this study should be carried out over a much longer period of time and should include a much larger number of subjects.

The concenus of the group follows the concenus of the comments here, to date.

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Is it bizarre what kind of stuff catches fire in the news? I thought the study I posted a while back that showed cancer patients with cognitive dysfunction (chemo brain) could improve their memory and concentration by interacting with Mother Nature was fascinating! But I have a suspicion that a drug that could do the same thing would get more press.

No one gets excited about good news, I guess. That is, unless it's about replicating a Siberian brown-eared mouse gene or injecting a rhesus monkey with a new vaccine to prevent male pattern baldness. I just don't get it - what makes something newsworthy? I've ruled out that it's how much the study affects humans' well-being. The human genome project will not begin to affect humans for decades, at least. Not to mention the multitudes of white mice whose psychophysiological processes have been minutely altered and subsequently acclaimed on CNN.

I assume research "marketing" has a lot to do with it. And whether it's a slow news day when your press release hits the outlets. Too bad such arbitrary factors can influence public perceptions so heavily.

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