Is someone you care about battling cancer? Do you want to prevent cancer for yourself or your loved ones? Even more important than early detection, dietary protection, and reducing toxic environmental exposures, research has found that personality and stress factors may be the key to preventing or reversing cancer! Take the quiz now!
- Have you had a major loss in the last year?
- Are you usually catering to someone else?
- Do you often feel resentful?
- Are you unhappy in your relationships?
- Do you feel trapped?
- Do you feel undeserving?
- Do you crave attention?
If you answered “yes” to even ONE of these questions, you may be at higher than normal risk for cancer. If you answered “yes” to more than one, you need to think seriously about making some changes. If you answered “yes” to ALL of these questions, GET HELP NOW! BeatCancer.org coaches and counselors are specially trained in this kind of work and are here for you in person or by telephone.
This is not about blame. We need to be very gentle and respectful when broaching the delicate subject of emotional causes that may contribute to the development of or the inability to recover from cancer. Finger-pointing can be very disturbing for people, and there’s a tendency to blame the victim. Cancer is generally the result of a combination of factors, including genetic, nutritional, and environmental factors. Nonetheless, for many people, the above emotional patterns do happen to play a HUGE role in disease, and many cancer researchers and clinicians have observed similar personality traits among persons with cancer.
This does NOT mean that everyone who sees himself or herself on this list of questions is going to get cancer or die of cancer. This information is not to scare you but to aware you. Most people experience the above feelings only occasionally or temporarily. Many people who answered “yes” to these questions have personalities, coping skills, and lifestyle habits that can antidote a lot of the emotional stressors they are dealing with.
Unattended, however, prolonged periods of these negative emotions can create a toxic internal emotional environment that is as dangerous as any external toxic environment. In turn, it can lead to a cascade of biochemical responses that trigger cancer by wreaking havoc on body chemistry and immune function. (See my four-part series Can Stress Cause Cancer?)
Dealing with the emotional factors surrounding the development and outcome of cancer is not just about coping styles and stress management techniques, although these are very important. Sometimes it goes to the very essence of who we are (by larner at dhead online). Let’s take the above questions one at a time:
1. Have you had a major loss in the last year? The loss may be a beloved person, job or possession that was central to your life, generally within six to 18 months prior to diagnosis. Everyone experiences loss, yet everyone doesn’t get cancer. The key issue is whether the loss is unresolved, the grief work incomplete, and the despair all-consuming — in other words, those who experience a significant loss and can’t move on.
2. Are you usually catering to someone else? Rather than being selfish, these people are totally selfless. They continually cater to others’ needs or expectations and are either unaware of their own needs or feel guilty fulfilling them. These people are harmonizers, attempting to keep the peace at all costs, and well-behaved to a fault.
3. Do you often feel resentful? The danger here is not the anger, but its lack of expression. Repression of negative emotions such as anger, resentment, hostility, and rage can be so great that not only do others not notice it, but also the person himself or herself is not in touch with those feelings or may sense it is inappropriate to express those feelings anytime, anywhere, in any way.
4. Are you unhappy in your relationships? Are there people in your life who constantly drain you with their negativity? Do you have a preponderance of negative relationships or are you unable to form deep emotional relationships? People who lack validation and support are at higher risk for poor health.
5. Do you feel trapped? Do you feel hopeless, helpless, passive, frustrated, victimized, despairing or lacking control? Do you feel there are no options to change the negative conditions in your life? You may need to think very creatively and you may need professional help, but there are always options.
6. Do you feel undeserving? People who are consciously or even unconsciously aware that they do not deserve health or happiness — or even life itself — have usually received that message early in life from their familial, social or cultural context. Everyone is deserving — that is the way the Universe is programmed. If you can believe it, you can achieve it.
7. Do you crave attention? This is a tricky one. We all need attention. However, some people who are not getting the support they need may have a subconscious desire to gain — through the legitimate avenue of serious illness — the attention they are not receiving from others for other reasons. Having a vested interest in being sick is a dangerous red flag!
Feeling unfulfilled in any of the above areas is part of human nature. Our journeys as humans on this earth are never without bumps. But if you feel that any of the above seven points really speaks to you, you may wish to engage in some introspection. I highly recommend two wonderfully practical manuals based on clinical research — Lawrence LeShan’s Cancer as a Turning Point and John Voell’s Cancer Report. You may also wish to take my online holistic cancer educator training, much of which focuses on my 35+ years of experience in the psychology of cancer health and disease.