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MInd-Body Healing: Negative State of Mind Can Increase Chances of Breast Cancer

Posted Aug 24 2008 7:13am
I am a firm believer that healing is multidimensional. Many times I have witnessed what I would call a disconnect between a patient's way of life, beliefs, habits and health. In other words they do not see that behaviours and beliefs can affect their health in both positive and negative ways. Sometimes it is denial, other times it is a blind trust in some new wonder drug or surgery that will "fix" them if they get ill. Yes, there are great treatments out there, but in my opinion the goal is to not get ill in the first place.

One of the important dimensions of healing encompasses the mind. Those behaviors and beliefs originate as thoughts and thoughts drive our actions. Thoughts also contribute to our health in many ways (see Unlocking the Healing Code for more on mind-body healing).

So I was happy to see this new research out of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. This study examined 255 women with breast cancer and 367 healthy controls. The women were questioned on how happy, optimistic, depressed or anxious they were before being diagnosed with breast cancer.

The researchers found that negative traits such as anxiety or depression stemming from a stressful event (divorce, loss of a loved one, etc) contributed to an increased incidence of breast cancer where as positive traits (happiness) played a more protective role.

I know that in the alternative medicine world we have been saying this for years but it is great to see some hard evidence to back this up.

Bottom line is this study lends more support to the power of the mind in health and disease.

For more information on mind-body healing read my other posts as well as visit my site:

Peace and Healing,

Dr. Bruce


Ronit Peled, Devora Carmil, Orly Siboni-Samocha and Ilana Shoham-Vardi. Breast cancer, psychological distress and life events among young women. BMC Cancer, (in press)
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