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Personality Not Associated with Cancer

Posted 2/11/2014

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 Regarding your cancer risk, it does not matter! You can be angry or sunny or negative or irritatingly positive or whatever you want, and it matters not a bit in terms of cancer. One of the biggest pleasures of my professional life is a study that supports what I/we have known all along. This one, from Finland and the UK, published in the British Journal of Cancer, is terrific.

  There is far too much in the popular literature about personality and attitude and cancer. It always boils down to "blame the victim" for being something less than endlessly cheerful and optimistic and having grade A relationships and social supports.  Since I have been in this business for more than three decades, I have known women with all kinds of personalities and situations. Cancer is absolutely an equal opportunity illness, and it is a biological process driven by genetic mutations (don't mean BRCA1 kind of mutations, I mean cells must go wrong for a cancer to develop).

  Here is the abstract of the article . If you would like to read the whole thing, email me and I will send it along to you

Is personality associated with cancer incidence and mortality? An individual participant
meta-analysis of 2156 incident cancer cases among 42 843 men and women

M Jokela*,1,2, G D Batty3,4,5, T Hintsa1, M Elovainio1,6, C Hakulinen1 and M Kivima¨ ki3

Background: The putative role of personality in cancer risk has been controversial, and the evidence remains inconclusive.
Methods: We pooled data from six prospective cohort studies (British Household Panel Survey; Health and Retirement Study;  Household, Income, and Labour Dynamics in Australia; Midlife in the United Survey; Wisconsin Longitudinal Study Graduate; and  Sibling samples) for an individual-participant meta-analysis to examine whether personality traits of the Five Factor Model  (extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience) were associated with the incidence of
cancer and cancer mortality in 42 843 cancer-free men and women at baseline (mean age 52.2 years, 55.6% women).
Results: During an average follow-up of 5.4 years, there were 2156 incident cancer cases. In random-effects meta-analysis adjusted  for age, sex, and race/ethnicity, none of the personality traits were associated with the incidence of all cancers or any of the six  site-specific cancers included in the analysis (lung, colon, breast, prostate, skin, and leukaemia/lymphoma). In the three cohorts with cause-specific mortality data (421 cancer deaths among 21 835 participants), none of the personality traits were associated with cancer mortality.
Conclusions: These data suggest that personality is not associated with increased risk of incident cancer or cancer-related mortality.

 

 

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