A positive attitude is crucial in maintaining and improving people’s overall health. Many studies have proven this and research is still ongoing in this area. But a recent study indicates that how patients respond to cancer therapies can be significantly influenced by their positive attitude.
This blog attempts to understand the correlation between positivity in cancer patients and their rate of recovery by looking at the study conducted at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.
What does the study say?
Research conducted at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center suggests that patients with psychosocial problems such as anxiety, depression, low optimism or a lack of social support before a hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) were more likely to be hospitalized again . They stayed on readmission longer than those with better overall mental health.
Prior to surgery, the researchers recommended conducting psychiatric examinations. To reduce readmissions, it can help high-risk patients both before and after treatment.
Let’s dig deep and deconstruct the study to get a better understanding.
Emergency and recovery results.
According to the study, individuals with depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety were approximately 1.7 times more likely to be hospitalized after HSCT than individuals without any personality disorder. Particularly for patients with psychological risk factors, HSCT is a demanding procedure. There is a significant risk of sadness and anxiety in 35 to 40 percent of HSCT patients following their therapy. According to some studies, HSCT patients with mental or psychosocial risk factors are more likely to experience psychological side effects.
However, the study is not so clear on the results, as worse results have been observed in some patients and not in others.
Research on the emotional well-being of cancer patients.
The study then focused on the emotional well-being of cancer patients and their rate of recovery. Although the study focuses on HSCT patients, some studies have shown that patients with depression and anxiety generally have poorer outcomes across all types of cancer. While the reason behind this is not clear, it is believed to have something to do with cortisol and how worry and sadness affect cortisol levels, causing levels to rise and leading to a state of relative frailty.
The extent to which emotional health influences treatment outcomes, which therapies are more successful, or which conditions put patients at higher risk are all unknown. According to research on how cancer develops and spreads, there is no reason to believe that emotions can contribute to or worsen the disease. But the group conducts supportive counseling and support to help patients and survivors cope with the complex realities they face.
Here’s how the researchers selected a suitable remedy.
According to research, outcomes have been worse for some cancer patients who are depressed. To reduce depression and improve outcomes, they check patients for depression and anxiety at the beginning of cancer treatment. Exercise can also help by reducing the likelihood of exhaustion and despair. The research suggests that a person’s perception of side effects, quality of life and clinical outcomes are influenced by their pre-cancer personality traits, coping mechanisms and resilience.
Do we have to worry?
Studies have been inconclusive that cancer patients will have a poor outcome from therapies if they have mental health problems. Cancer treatment outcomes for anyone are greatly influenced by how well they take care of themselves. Patients generally benefit from therapy and social interactions and should take steps to maintain and improve their mental well-being.
Some researchers say that mental health problems do not always lead to worse outcomes, although it is true that pre-existing mental health conditions sometimes make it more difficult for patients to receive cancer treatment with the best possible results.
Can optimism cure cancer?
While studies suggest that optimism increases longevity and general mental health, there is little evidence that it can slow the spread of cancer. We know that patients need to maintain a positive outlook to get through cancer treatment. While being positive can have its health benefits, studies have found that it’s best to express all feelings. It is not advisable to ask the patients to stop being sad or crying. Crying can be a healthy way to release inner emotions, and it’s always best to provide a safe space for them to release their emotions.
Many studies have shown the obvious relationship between good mental health and faster recovery from illness. But recovery from cancer involves many factors, and good mental health is certainly an important supportive element. But studies have not shown a direct correlation between treating cancer and stopping its spread with a positive attitude. It can help them manage the situation in a better way. It is the duty of the patients’ relatives and friends to provide them with adequate support and a comfortable place to run to during an emergency.