Monday, October 22, 2007

Take *that*, optimism

Optimism 'no bearing on cancer'

The power of the mind has been overestimated when it comes to fighting cancer, US scientists say.

They said they found that a patient's positive or negative emotional state had no direct bearing on cancer survival or disease progression.

The University of Pennsylvania team followed more than 1,000 patients with head and neck cancer.

But experts said the Cancer journal study should not deter people from adopting a "fighting spirit".

Cancer Research UK

Indeed, a positive outlook can help patients cope with gruelling cancer therapies and resume a "normal" life, a spokeswoman for Macmillan Cancer Support said.

Seeking emotional support may be beneficial to cancer patients, said the researchers.

I know it's important to have a good outlook for most things in life, and I don't think this study can allows us to conclude that we shouldn't care or be invested in positive outcomes, but as a life long pessimist (pessimism has actually been helpful at times, believe it or not), I feel a bit better about things, now that I have "scientific proof" of the overestimation of the power of optimism.

Jeez, I'm a bit of a curmudgeon on this point, aren't I?

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