The Link Between Cancer and Mental Health!

Based on the book “Anticancer” by Dr David Servan-Schreiber.

It is becoming more prevalent than ever that total well-being (physical, emotional and social) is essential for health in general. One cannot be neglected. There is no component of health that is seen as more important than the other.

I feel as if emotional and mental health has been somewhat neglected in the past. Treating yourself with respect and love is one of the most important attributes to a mentally and physically well person.

This book discusses the danger of diminished mental health and that is can actually cause chronic disease such as cancer. He discusses that feelings of helplessness are in which, one of the most destructive emotions.

A study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania looked at rats and how such feelings of helplessness actually caused cancerous cells to grow. The rats were grafted with the exact same amount of cancer cells proven to induce a fatal tumour in 50% of them. The rats were divided into three groups.

  1. The control group – the rats received the cancerous cells; however they were not manipulated in any other way.
  2. In the second group the rats received small electric shocks that they had no control over.
  3. The third group of rats received the same small, random shocks. However, they had a lever that they could pull that they soon learned that would prevent them from receiving extra shocks.

The results were clear.

  • 54% of the control rats that received no shocks, just cancerous cells successfully rejected the tumour, the rest died from the cancer.
  • The rats that had no control over their electric shocks became unresponsive. They had no appetite and didn’t fight back against intruders into its cage. 23% of these rats managed to overcome their cancer. The rest died.
  • The third group that could control their electric shocks. 63% of these rats successfully fought the tumour and they didn’t become unresponsive.

The take- away from this study is that it doesn’t matter what stress, pain, disappointment, sadness you go through. The important thing is that you can feel physically and mentally able to cope with the life you lead and through it all can find some type of hope. This is essential.

That feeling of sheer and utter helplessness, living a life without hope will make us as living beings despondent and unable to live in a functional manner. An example of such feelings can take the form of depression or anxiety. These disorders provoke feelings of hopelessness and this can be incredibly dangerous for our minds and our bodies.


Fear is another incredibly damaging emotion. Fear is an incredibly human emotion and we all feel it! However, when you think about it, fear is a totally pointless and irrelevant emotion.

We can control our lives only to a certain extent. We aren’t really sure what is going to happen in our lives. We cannot stop things from happening because we are afraid. We cannot help a situation while being afraid.

“Fear paralyses. That’s its nature” – feeling such an emotion on a regular basis is detrimental to your health.

We as humans are fearful of many things. Fear mainly stems from the unknown. Humans are uncomfortable in the unknown. We are scared of death, of suffering, of being alone, of living an unfulfilled life.

This fear can even be so chronic that it’s all we think about and that can actually cause our fears to become our reality. Fear sucks our life-force away and makes us unhappy. You don’t need to be afraid.

We are scared of so much. Even when we cannot control any of it.

The next time you feel afraid think to yourself.

  1. Can you stop this thing from happening? Can you control its outcome?
  2. Why are you scared of it?
  3. Is this feeling doing me more harm than good?


The human breath. “Attention to breathing brings people closer to the pulsations of vital body processes and connects them to conscious thought”. Merely focusing on your breathing and nothing else can connect you to your inner being and you can fully UNDERSTAND YOU AND YOUR BODY.

Practises such as meditation or yoga are incredible for this.

Start by sitting up straight, closing your eyes and focus on your breathing, in and out, for 10 minutes. With each thought that comes to mind understand it and let it go in your exhalation. Meditation brings you to an intense sense of peace in this busy and never- ending world. Try it now.

We should never be unresponsive to our bodies and minds. Listen to what your inner mind and body is saying and understand it. It is essential to your health.

Thank you for reading. Follow for more 🙂

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