Read This One, PLEASE
If you only read one of my postings, ever, make this the one. This is an interview with Siddhartha Mukherjee, the author of the incredible book, The Emperor of All Maladies. If you have not already read the book, do so. Dr. Mukherjee, a medical oncologist, gave this interview in London where he was to receive the Guardian First Book Award. The whole interview is terrific, but I am posting and highlighting some text from the middle. There is a link at the end:
Can a positive mental attitude, for example, really cure cancer?
"I think it does a nasty disservice to patients. A woman with breast cancer already has her plate full, and you want to go and tell her that the reason you're not getting better is because you're not thinking positively? Put yourself in that woman's position and think what it feels like to be told your attitude is to blame for why you're not getting better. I think it's nasty."
But is it true? "No, I think it's not true. It's not true. In a spiritual sense, a positive attitude may help you get through chemotherapy and surgery and radiation and what have you. But a positive mental attitude does not cure cancer - any more than a negative mental attitude causes cancer."
A lot of my friends worry that stress is going to give them cancer. "I don't think so. I don't think it's true. There's a role of the immune system in cancer, but it's not as simple as people make out. It's not as if you get stressed, your immune system gets depressed, and all of a sudden you get cancer. Some cancers are more affected by it, such as lymphomas. But others - for example breast cancer - have very little to do with the immune system. There's no evidence that stress gives you breast cancer."