Prolonged survival not assured by psychological therapies for cancer patients

by Medindia Content Team on  January 4, 2003 at 5:35 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Prolonged survival not assured by psychological therapies for cancer patients
"The lifespan of people with cancer cannot be prolonged by psychological interventions", says a recent study by researchers.

Does mind play a role in cancer? Yes. People with cancer can benefit from counselling and therapy at the time of diagnosis to help them cope with treatment and the illness itself. But whether psychological intervention actually improves the survival prospects of someone with cancer cannot be guaranteed for sure.

A team at Peninsula Medical School surveyed eleven clinical trials, covering 1510 patients, concerned with the impact of psychological interventions in cancer treatment. Out of these, eight of the trials showed no survival benefit, while three indicated that psychological treatments may perhaps prolong the lifespan. Thus the survival benefit of psychological therapies in cancer is not compelling according to the results.

The study, however, did not attempt to look at how such treatments might affect the quality of life of the cancer patient in a positive way.


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