A cancer diagnosis is never easy to digest, but how you handle the news may influence your outcome.
Several studies have suggested that a positive attitude can have a very real impact on health.
For example, a major study of 70,000 women conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that optimistic participants had a substantially reduced risk of dying from several major causes of death over an eight-year period.
The most optimistic women had a 16 percent lower risk of dying from cancer, a 38 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease, a 39 percent lower risk of dying from a stroke, a 38 percent lower risk of dying from respiratory disease and a 52 percent lower risk of dying from infection.
“There is good evidence that being optimistic plays a role in health; it’s not just a folk tale,” says Howard Waddell, a therapist at Tidelands Health who provides counseling for people facing cancer.