[quote="Lucky Ox"][quote="bruncle"]Positive thinking has absolutely no effect on cancer.
Actually, if memory serves, there've been loads of clinical trials which "proved" the efficacy of positive thinking on disease to some degree.
Alas, I am too lazy to find even one of them for you. How's that for some positivity?
Bruncle is right; positive thinking has no effect on cancer - not in preventing it, treating it, curing it or in any way affecting its progress.
I've never read or heard of a clinical trial 'proving' the efficacy of positive thinking on disease, though I've seen and heard many people claim that 'studies show' this is the case without being able to cite a single study when challenged.
These links provide some evidence to the contrary. The first is a report of a Dutch study of 9,700 women over 13 years. The study found that the development of breast cancer had no link with personality - no link with anxiety, anger, depression or optimism:
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/ ... ekey=86769
This research is a prospective study, ie at the start of the study no one had breast cancer and the women were followed for 13 years. Many studies of this kind are retrospective (asking people after they have had cancer if they were stressed, anxious etc - not reliable at all).
This next link is to a report in the British Medical Journal which pretty much explodes the theory that a 'fighting spirit' is associated with longer survival from cancer or that 'hopelessness and helplessness' means poorer outcomes. The researchers analysed existing studies from1979 onwards; their conclusion is:
'There is little consistent evidence that psychological coping styles play an important part in survival from or recurrence of cancer. People with cancer should not feel pressured into adopting particular coping styles to improve survival or reduce the risk of recurrence.'
Urging a seriously ill person to be, stay or think positive can be counter productive in the extreme; it can make the person feel guilty and therefore worse because they just CAN'T feel as positive as everyone is urging them to be. That was certainly my experience.