The link between stress and the development and/or progression of chronic diseases is now well researched, well established and increasingly acknowledged by patients and physicians alike as an important component to integrate in care.
There is also ample evidence suggesting that the biological and neuropsychological impact of early life trauma has a lasting impact on health and disease.
Cancer research shows that several psychological variables can affect the progression of the disease. Research also suggests that previous life experiences may make people more susceptible to developing cancer and can also affect the ability to respond and adapt to being diagnosed with cancer and cope with the treatment process.
The encouraging, good news is that psychosocial interventions and mind-body medicine can exert a positive effect on the healing process! By shedding light on these issues and addressing them as part of an integrated, whole person treatment plan, not only is the effectiveness of treatment enhanced, but quality of life for cancer patients is improved and the length of survival can be extended. This is powerful!
I am excited to be presenting this month at the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OncANP) annual conference in Phoenix Arizona. My topic is: How Biography Becomes Biology: Mind-Body Integrative Treatment for People with Cancer.
I have been inspired over my 30 year career by many patients who have responded to the difficult challenge of a cancer diagnosis with an attitude of courage and determination. To me, they demonstrate with great strength and beauty the essence of this quote: