Living With Breast Cancer and Beating It

Breast Cancer, to be informed that you have such a serious disease has to be a life altering point in a woman's life. No one can ever prepare themselves to receive bad news of that caliber. Even with the advances in treatment, support systems, and recovery statistics, fear of the unknown is omnipresent. Fear of the side effects of radiation therapy and chemo therapy can cause the stress level to increase substantially. It's a natural response to a serious situation

Extensive research has revealed the various ways people respond to their cancer has a direct impact on the course and intensity of the disease. Additional research has proven that intense negative emotions over time can impede the body's ability to combat the disease.

One thing we must be aware of, however, is short term stress can actually be a good thing because it stimulates the fight or flight response. Oftentimes the jolt of a serious diagnosis spurs some people to take a proactive attitude towards the new and challenging situation. This positive attitude frequently gives them the energy to do whatever it takes to defeat this cancerous foe.

We should also be aware of the consequences of a negative attitude. If one becomes consumed with fear, negative thoughts and attitudes, the results will be an immune system that is less efficient and vulnerable to an attack by an aggressive cancer. Doctors who practice a holistic approach to breast cancer agree that the mind-body approach like meditation, yoga, and Qi Gong can relax the mind, reduce stress, and make it easier for the patient to cope with the magnitude of the issues at hand.

Chemicals produced from long term stress shorten the telomeres found on the tips of the chromosomes. Telomeres are the end-caps that prevent our DNA from unraveling, thus preserving its strength and preventing damage that can extremely lead to chronic disease. Cells with shortened telomeres have a tendency to age prematurely. This premature aging process poses a potential risk for the development of new cancers. Stress, a pessimistic attitude, negative thoughts, and a negative attitude can affect your immune system by seriously damaging and often destroying critical immune cells. This, believe it or not, can result in the cancer intensifying. Some research strongly reports a cancer risk increases in women who experience long periods of stress.

Stress reduction is of primary importance in the fight against cancer. A good way to fight depression, fear, anxiety, and other stressful states of mind is by practicing meditation on a regular basis. All it takes is a few minutes of your time to sit quietly, focusing on deep slow breathing to decrease the intensity of your stress related hormones. Numerous studies have shown that meditation can significantly stimulate immune function, reduce pain, and improve ones quality of life.

There are additional mental-physical methods of reducing stress and improving immune function. They are called moving meditation because they combine deep mental concentration with slow methodical movement. Examples of moving meditation are Tai …