The University of Liverpool made the following announcement:

Depression Found To Hasten Decline In Cancer Patients

Depression causes patients with advanced cancer to die sooner than they
should, say scientists at the University of Liverpool. (more…)


6/26/2007 The new issue of the American Psychological Association’s *Psychological
Bulletin* (vol. 133, @3) includes an article: “Psychotherapy and
survival in cancer: The conflict between hope and evidence” by James
Coyne, Michael Stefanek, & Steven Palmer.”

Here’s how the article begins:

[begin excerpt]

The belief that psychological factors affect the progression of cancer
has become prevalent among the lay public and some oncology
professionals (Doan, Gray, & Davis, 1993; Lemon & Edelman, 2003). An
extension of this belief is that improvement in psychological
functioning can prolong the survival after a diagnosis of cancer. Were
this true, psychotherapy could not only benefit mood and quality of life
but increase life expectancy as well. Indeed, there is some lay
acceptance of this notion, as a substantial proportion of women with
breast cancer attending support groups do so believing they may be
extending their lives (Miller et al., 1998).


8/14/2007 *New York Times* includes an article: “Thriving After Life’s Bum Rap” by Jane Brody.

Here’s the artticle:

Can getting cancer make you happy? For Betty Rollin, survivor of two
breast cancers, there’s no question about it. In her newest book,
“Here’s the Bright Side,” Ms. Rollin recounts:

“I woke up one morning and realized I was happy. This struck me as
weird. Not that I didn’t have all kinds of things to be happy about —
love, work, good health, enough money, the usual happy-making stuff. The
weird part is, I realized that the source of my happiness was, of all
things, cancer — that cancer had everything to do with how good the good
parts of my life were.”

Her realization is hardly unique. I have met and read about countless
people who, having faced life-threatening illness, end up happier,
better able to appreciate the good things and people in their lives,
more willing to take the time to smell the roses.


*Boston Globe* 1/30/2008 includes an article: “Study: Personality,
breast cancer not linked” by Will Dunham.

Here’s the article:

The idea that a woman’s personality traits can make her more prone to
get breast cancer appears to be nothing more than a myth, according to a
Dutch study that tested the notion.

Women who were unemotional, depressed, or anxious were no more or less
likely to get breast cancer than any other women, the study found; nor
were women who were optimistic, angry, or understanding, or had any
combination of personality traits.