Mind over matter: Not for cancer?

With illness, we've all heard that if you stay positive and optimistic, that the mind can do powerful things. "Mind Over Matter" is the mantra (image credit). Each of us knows someone or has a story of someone who seemed to "beat the odds," by staying positive and optimistic.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania released data today about patients with head and neck cancer. Contrary to what is currently believed, the data showed that people who are depressed about their cancer are no more likely to die than people who keep a positive outlook. (Reuters)

The analysis showed that emotional status was not associated with survival rate. A person's emotions were not associated with survival even after taking into account other factors, such as gender, tumor site or disease stage, Coyne and colleagues report in the journal Cancer.
Now don't get me wrong, being optimistic and having a positive attitude has many benefits - particularly for cancer patients. However, unfortunately, given this data, I can no longer give the opinion that I think that antidepressants and psychotherapy have a chance of improving survival or even extending life. Hopefully, further research on this topic will prove otherwise.