• Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee (Emperor of All Maladies) said, As much as I love this man, Siddhartha Mukherjee, said: "A positive attitude does

    Asked by Genechick on Wednesday, October 16, 2013

    Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee (Emperor of All Maladies) said, As much as I love this man, Siddhartha Mukherjee, said: "A positive attitude does

    As much as I love this man, Siddhartha Mukherjee, said: "A positive attitude does not cure cancer, any more than a negative one causes it'. I humbly, do not agree with him on this one. If it wasn't for my grandmother who kept saying to me during my worst days, "Karen, please do not get discouraged." I truly believe that that was part of of the mix of me being a pioneer of a now, 50 year cancer survivor. What are your views on this???

    16 Answers from the Community

    16 answers
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      I agree with Dr. Mukherjee. A positive attitude does feel better - for the patient and those around her or him, but I think that, no matter how positive one is, certain cancers and other diseases are killers, no matter what one does. Genechick, it's wonderful that you survived childhood leukemia, but I'd say your survival was due to the chemo treatments scientists have devised - and, of course, to your courage and strength in fighting for your life. I hope I'm not lecturing you; I don't mean to be, but I get very bothered when people attribute their survival to their attitude. Many with positive attitudes have succumbed to illness, and many with negative, doomy gloomy attitudes survive.

      about 6 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar
      Ydnar2xer

      Hmm...an interesting question that's been on here before, but here's a new twist--and I'll probably get in trouble for this--Does a positive attitude "cure cancer" any more than what/who you consider God to be--would be able to? Or does it take tangible cures such as medicine, surgery, radiation, etc. ?

      about 6 years ago
    • BabsWon's Avatar
      BabsWon

      I think back when I was going through chemo & radiation I never gave attitude a thought. I trusted that my doctors knew based on their experience what drugs to use & how much radiation to give. I was pretty passive in accepting what they recommended. I do pray to God, and the cancer patron saints. God answers all our prayers. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no, and sometimes wait. There are many powerful methods that can help with healing our bodies. For example, qigong, acupressure, acupuncture, and western medicine has been accepting these more & more. Cancer is so complex that so far there if not one answer for all.

      about 6 years ago
    • kashubian's Avatar
      kashubian

      I would have to agree, attitude helps, but it isn't the cure. I have read, been told and found myself that trying to broadcast a positive attitude on a day when I was feeling pretty beat up was harder than telling a friend I needed a hug or a kind word. Being less than truthful of our feelings is stressful and stress isn't good either. We pray, we are honest when we have days when our attitude is just "this sucks", we talk when we need to and pick each other up when we need to. The pressure to always be positive can be hard, because honestly there are days where if I didn't just have a good cry about our circumstances, I got terrible chest pains. Having a bad day doesn't mean you are not positive about what our hopes are. All these things come together to fight cancer; our willingness to fight, surgery, radiation, chemo, pharmaceuticals that alleviate symptoms, diet, exercise... So, the drive to survive is definitely a part of the puzzle, but so is being able to be honest about all we feel.

      about 6 years ago
    • avonlea02's Avatar
      avonlea02

      I went into remission last year from Stage IIIC ovarian cancer. My onc said my positive attitude had a LOT to do with that! Now, please realize; this man rarely smiles. He knows how to kill cancer, but No "warm fuzzies" from him. He even smiled! (I can get smiles and warm fuzzies elsewhere. I would prefer he kill cancer, and he is good at that!)

      This year, that beast returned, and I am back in chemo. Guess what? I am positive again, CA125 coming down, and onc has smiled a few times! I cannot swear that it is my attitude, but I am grateful, will continue to be positive, and expect to beat it.

      I had always heard that positive thoughts attract positive energy. What better time to practice and try that out?!

      about 6 years ago
    • Tracy's Avatar
      Tracy

      Hi,
      I am also a long term survivor. My original oncologist told me that the only reason I was still alive was a combination of stubbornness and laughter. He did not tell me until many years later that I was not expected to live past 18. He told me what I didn't know would keep me fighting. I am a big believer in laughter, it can get us through amazing things. Tracy

      about 6 years ago
    • avonlea02's Avatar
      avonlea02

      As to the God question, for myself, I see no issue. If we as humans have discovered HOW God works...through medicine, surgery... whatever, I don't think it negates that He did it. But it is okay if others don't agree, that's okay. Just my beliefs.

      And Btw, I do think it would be silly not to take treatment, waiting for a miracle or positive thinking alone for the healing. I think we should use what is available. But I say, that is my opinion, with respect to those who may differ.

      about 6 years ago
    • Genechick's Avatar
      Genechick

      May I repeat, positive thinking, in the mix, which means taking the chemotheraphy. Not just the positive thinking. The positive thinking was when I was having treatments and I was in deep depression. Which may make a difference with some people. Thank you for ALL your opinions, dear friends;)

      about 6 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar
      Ydnar2xer

      Let's face it--a bald head, purpley-black fingernails, chemo and CANCER can be awfully intimidating to the uninitiated! So does a positive attitude help? YOU BET! It HELPS keep your friends around while you are sick, it HELPS give you "teachable moments" when you can teach the uninformed what it's like to go through cancer, and it HELPS you keep your own spirits up. Who would want to stick around with someone who is sick and NEGATIVE about everything? Besides, a positive attitude gets you better treatment from your nurses!

      about 6 years ago
    • cam32505's Avatar
      cam32505

      I think the positive attitude allows a person to tolerate the treatment, while research is trying to find new and better treatments to treat illnesses.

      about 6 years ago
    • LisaLathrop's Avatar
      LisaLathrop

      I don't believe a positive attitude can "cure" cancer. BUT I do believe it is a contributing factor to remission! I have developed a 5 Ingredient to Survivorship plan....see part #4 at my blog: http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=953772277489441057#editor/target=post;postID=7479379894890784378;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=8;src=postname

      Where would we be without a positive attitude? In the case of a recent friend, she said to her family "I'm just sooo tired of being positive all the time. I don't want to fight anymore." and within a few days, she was gone to meet our maker. Once you don't have the will to survive anymore, I think it is a sure thing that things will go downhill from there. In my case, I have always been a positive person....during sickness and in health. I know one day, my time will come, but until then, I can only believe that I am here for a reason and will stay positive until I DO find that reason. Blessings....even to those with a glass half empty.

      about 6 years ago
    • acshipway's Avatar
      acshipway

      I believe that a positive attitude and intent to survive are the most powerful weapons we have against cancer, all the radiation and chemo won't do a thing for you if you give up and accept defeat!

      about 6 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar
      CAS1

      Unfortunatly your position on this creates so much accusations and guilt placed upon the person with cancer. I can tell you I lost my beloved sister in 2008 and a better person you would never ever meet in your lifetime.. To suggest to me that she died because she was not "positive enough" are really insensitive and ignorant and its held back funding for cancers.

      Have you seen children die of cancer? I have and I can assure you it was not because they didn't have a positive attitude. Its a shameful suggestion.

      about 6 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar
      CAS1

      Another thing..The five year survival for BC is 90% and that because of the funding of 25 K per person.. The five year survival for Lung C or Pancreatic cancer is just 15% and thats due to the lack of funding..Do you really think those numbers are due to attitude? Really?

      Its pretty easy to be cocky whne you have 90% on your side.

      about 6 years ago
    • acshipway's Avatar
      acshipway

      Cas1, sorry for the loss of your sister. I don't think anyone was trying to say that people are dying of cancer of any type solely due to a poor attitude or trying to place any blame on anyone for not having a specific attitude. I also don't see a need to go on the attack. I have been in pre-hospital emergency care for 28 years and have seen probably more than my share of people die from a variety of causes, both disease process and traumatic injuries. I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer in 91 and certainly don't blame her or anyone else that loses their battle on whatever their attitude was. What I do believe though is that if a person gives up the will to live, they will not live through something like this, certainly some won't survive no matter what their attitude or treatment, but if they don't even try... You don't have to agree with me, that is simply my opinion and belief.

      about 6 years ago
    • theweasel's Avatar
      theweasel

      I'm all for a positive attitude (if and when you can manage it). I feel uneasy that this could lead to self-blame : If I were more positive, I'd be getting better.

      almost 6 years ago

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