research on the associations of religion and spirituality with cancer patients'
physical mental, social well-being, published in Cancer, a peer reviewed
journal of American Cancer Society, gives news insights on the
which analyzed studies including more than 44,000 patients, states that
religion and spirituality have significant associations with patients' health.
there was wide variability among studies on how different dimensions of
religion and spirituality relate to different aspects of health.
conclude that most cancer patients have religious and spiritual beliefs and
obtain comfort from religious and spiritual experiences.
focused on physical health in the first stage of the study. Individuals with
cancer who reported greater overall religiousness and spirituality also
reported better physical health, greater ability to perform their everyday
chores. They also showed fewer physical symptoms of cancer and treatment.
relationships were particularly strong in patients who experienced greater
aspects of religion and spirituality, including a sense of meaning and purpose
in life as well as a connection to a source larger than oneself," said lead
author Heather Jim, PhD, of the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa.
also noted that individuals who derived
better cognitive dimensions of religion and spirituality or who could integrate
the disease into their religious or spiritual beliefs also had better physical
behavioral aspects of religion and spirituality, such as simply
attending a place of worship, prayer, or meditation were not related to
this stage, the researchers examined patients' mental health.
researchers discovered that the emotional aspects of religion and spirituality
were more strongly associated with positive mental health than behavioral or
cognitive aspects of religion and spirituality.
well- being was, unsurprisingly, associated with less anxiety, depression, or
distress. Also, greater levels of spiritual distress and a sense of
disconnectedness with God or a religious community was associated with greater
psychological distress or poorer emotional well-being," said John Salsman, PhD,
at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem.
analysis investigated on social health, or patients' capacity to retain social
roles and relationships in the face of illness. It showed that religion and spirituality, and its various aspects,
had modest but reliable connection with social health.
took a closer look, we found that patients with stronger spiritual well-being,
more benign images of God, such as perceptions of a benevolent rather than an
angry or distant God, or stronger beliefs, such as convictions that a personal
God can be called upon for assistance, reported better social health," said
Allen Sherman, PhD, at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in
noted that those who struggled with their faith fared more poorly.
on the Topic Suggested
researchers have conducted literature reviews on the impact of religion and
spirituality on cancer patients' health, but none have taken such thorough and
painstaking efforts to analyze the data in such detail.
date, this series of meta-analyses represents the most comprehensive summary
and synthesis of a rapidly growing area of psychosocial oncology: the role of
religion and spirituality for patients and survivors managing the experience of
cancer," said Dr. Salsman.
research should focus on how relationships between religious or spiritual
involvement and health change over time, and whether support services designed
to enhance particular aspects of religion and spirituality in interested
patients might help improve their well-being.
addition, some patients struggle with the religious or spiritual significance
of their cancer, which is normal. How they resolve their struggle may impact
their health, but more research is needed to better understand and support
these patients," Dr. Jim noted.
Cancer is a
leading cause of death worldwide and the global burden of cancer is growing.
According to the World Health Organization, the annual cancer cases will
increase from 14 million in 2012 to 22 million in the next 2 decades.
opine that treatment for emotional impact of the disease is as important as
treatment for physical symptoms. However, the emotional impact of the disease
frequently goes unattended.
Here is the
significance of the new medical branch, Psychosocial Oncology. But what does
this term mean?
The root of
'psycho' means relating to the mind. The 'social' part is about social
relationships of individuals. 'Oncology', as all know, the branch of medicine dealing
together, psychosocial oncology represents cancer care based on psychological,
spiritual, emotional and social aspects of cancer. This different approach
towards cancer treatment addresses a range of very human needs that can improve
quality of life.
and Spirituality the Same?
spirituality are different concepts associated with faith, but related to each
other. Religion is an institution established by an individual or a group of
people for various reasons.
great visionaries, spirituality is born in a person and develops in the person.
But it may be kick started by a religion or its values. It is your way of
relating to the world and it may not be able to find it in a place of worship
or by believing in a certain way.
Top 5 Mental
Tips for Coping with Cancer
Adopt a Fighting Spirit
Fight against cancer
is more about your mind
and spirit than it is about your body. If you are mentally down, the disease
will easily defeat your body. So, adopt a fighting spirit and actively
participant in your treatment and recovery efforts. More importantly, believe
that you are more powerful than the disease.
Stay in the Present
The fear of
imminent danger coupled with hopelessness may stop you from moving forward in
the fight cancer. Don't worry about the future. Set the best possible target
and always try to move forward. Do your best right now.
Embrace the Love and Care of Others
psychologists, love is the most powerful drug. Having a strong support network
of family members, relatives and friends during the period of treatment is
important to pulling yourself through. So, seek support from your family,
relatives and friends and never try to stay alone.
Make Positive Changes
Stay out of
negative all kinds of negative thoughts and make positive changes in your
lifestyle that will improve your outcomes. Quit smoking, find time to exercise
and have good nutritious food.
Happiness is a Decision
isn't a prize. It is a decision. Sometimes things are so bad and you may argue
it is impossible to be happy in such a time. But what other choice do you have
besides trying not to wallow in despair?