Positive Thinking and the Possibility of Cancer Prevention

There are many different studies that find that positive thinking and optimistic statements have a beneficial impact on one’s health. According to J. Brody, “Even when faced with an incurable illness, positive feelings and thoughts can greatly improve one’s quality of life” (2017). While many sources support the claims that positive thinking can aid in the recovery from cancer, it is not a far leap to suggest that such thoughts can prevent it as well. 

While some cancers are a result of genetic predispositions, there are some that can be credited to outside causes, such as smoking cigarettes and lung cancer (Centers for Disease Control, 2020). Maintaining one’s physical health can be a mixture of avoiding unhealthy habits, exercising, eating right (American Cancer Society), and having a good mental health (Mental Health Foundation, 2020). One of the best ways to maintain one’s mental health is to keep a positive attitude and to have positive thoughts (Bhandari, 2020). According to the National Institute of Mental Health, stress negatively impacts the body in many ways, and maintaining stress levels can be beneficial to one’s health (n.d.). 

One study by Mousavi, Esmaeili, & Saless found that there was a correlation between positive thinking and resiliency and the quality of life of cancer patients (2015). Similar to the study discussed by Brody (2017), this study focused on how positive emotions impacted a patient’s physical health. Arguably, if one could keep a positive attitude while fighting cancer, then there is a higher chance of a better quality of life. 

A positive attitude and optimistic thoughts are proven to be beneficial to one’s overall health. They are also useful when one has become ill and needs a little boost to get better. Knowing those two facts is enough to say that maintaining positive thoughts with other healthy lifestyle choices can be enough to prevent cancer in those without a genetic predisposition. 

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American Cancer Society. (n.d.). Staying Healthy: How To Stay Healthy. Retrieved June 26, 2020, from https://www.cancer.org/healthy.html

Bhandari, S. (2020, January 16). Positive Thinking: What It Is and How to Do It. Retrieved June 26, 2020, from https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/positive-thinking-overview

Brody, J. (2017, March 27). A Positive Outlook May Be Good for Your Health. Retrieved June 23, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/27/well/live/positive-thinking-may-improve-health-and-extend-life.html

Centers for Disease Control. (2020, March 23). Smoking and Cancer. Retrieved June 25, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/cancer.html

Mental Health Foundation. (2020, February 10). Physical health and mental health. Retrieved June 26, 2020, from https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/p/physical-health-and-mental-health

Mousavi, E., Esmaeili, A., & Saless, S. S. (2015). The effect of positive thinking on quality of life and resiliency of cancer patients. Razavi International Journal of Medicine3(3).

National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.). 5 Things You Should Know About Stress. Retrieved June 26, 2020, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml