Spirituality and Prayers to Improve Quality of Life

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Spirituality and Prayers to Improve Quality of Life

“You have breast cancer,” – the shock of those words never leaves you. “Will I die?” or “Can I return to normal?” is most probably the first reaction of a devastated woman just diagnosed with breast cancer. Fear, anxiety, stress, anger, depression – these are some of the emotions you or someone you know closely must have felt on being diagnosed with breast cancer. Dealing with breast cancer and its treatment can be physically and emotionally draining. This psychosocial morbidity can last up to a year after diagnosis for some women. Breast cancer can literally change your life but you can improve the quality of your life by making healthier choices to feel as well as possible.

Spirituality and prayers has been found to be important for both physical as well as functional well-being. The feeling of having a positive relationship with God or the Higher Power is said to give you a sense of self-acceptance, hope and an emotional comfort of belonging as well as courage to deal with breast cancer. Most women with breast cancer feel that spirituality can provide inner security and help discover your true self and rid you from the fear and negative feelings. It can help you connect with yourself and come to terms with your illness.

Many studies have indicated that spirituality buffers the anxiety and depression associated with negative life events such as breast cancer. Religious involvement and spirituality improve health-related quality of life and enhance recovery from illness.

In a study on the role of religion and spirituality in coping with breast cancer in Chilean women, the researchers concluded – “Women viewed religion and spirituality as primary resources for themselves and others to use in coping with breast cancer. Women's use of religion and spirituality was manifested in praying, in their perceived dependence on God to intercede and guide them through their illness, and in obtaining social support from other persons in their faith community. Half of the women reported that their cancer prompted an increased emphasis on religion and spirituality in their lives by deepening their faith in God. Almost all participants endorsed the belief that spiritual faith can help cancer patients to recuperate.”

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Breast cancer can be earlier detected with mammograms. That's why it is really important to have yourself checked when you are already in your 40s or if you have a high risk for cancer [family history].

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