Is There A Link Between Cancer And Anger?
Anger is a negative emotion that has proven, more times than not, to cause severe damaging effects on an individual’s general well-being.
Although it may not be the major cause of cancer, it can trigger cancer especially in its early stages or during a patient’s healing process.
Interestingly, the effect of suppressed anger differs from expressed anger. Several research works have shown that suppressed anger does a lot more harm.
A study by the University of Rochester and Harvard School of Public Health found that patients who had scored over 75% level of suppressing emotions faced a 70% increase in cancer deaths. Another study by Dr David Spiegel for the California Breast Cancer Research Program revealed that the women who expressed their anger lived for an extra 3.7 years than those who did not (1.8 years).
This disparity was particularly observed among people who had early-stage tumours. Asides the effect on cancer, people with suppressed cancer also suffer bronchial problems, systolic blood pressure and the release of cortisol.
On cortisol, Boerma (2007) in Hendricks, Vore, Aslinia, & Morriss (2013) explains:
“Release of this hormone gives the body bursts of energy. However, too much of this hormone can cause a multitude of negative effects on the body. Too much cortisol in the body can cause an imbalance in blood sugar; it can suppress thyroid function, and decrease bone density. This hormonal imbalance also impacts the body’s immune system. Research shows that chronic-angry people suffer more frequent colds, flu’s infections, asthma, skin disease flare-ups and arthritis, as compared to non-chronic-angry people”.
It has been shown that maintaining a positive spirit and be able to release short bouts of anger will release natural killer cells (important immune system cells that fight and reject both tumours and virally infected cells).
While some patients have reported that the signs of a tumour disappeared after creating a forgiveness list and finding peace noticed the disappearance of their tumours, it is often recommended that patients engage in a supportive therapy to make living and managing the illness better.