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Self Connection Relieves Symptoms In Cancer Patients

Science is tracing the connection between self awareness and the bodily symptoms that patients may suffer. Now it´s cancer´s turn. It seems that this relationship is inversely proportional. The more connected a person is with his or her inner self, the easier it is to feel safer and consequently feeling less pain. This is a very good news that Reuters reported today. Read this article to find out…

BY KATHRYN DOYLE
(Reuters Health) – Cancer patients who report more religiousness or spirituality may also experience fewer physical symptoms of cancer and treatment and more social connection, several new papers suggest.

The new analyses reviewed previous studies of spirituality involving more than 44,000 cancer patients altogether.

The studies varied in many ways, but religion and spirituality were associated with better health regardless of specific religion or set of spiritual beliefs.

Some previous research has found this connection while others have not, said Heather Jim of the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, who led one of the new studies.

A sense of connection to a being larger than oneself was associated with better physical function and fewer, or less severe, symptoms of cancer or treatment, according to patient reports.
Intrinsic religious belief was also tied to better physical function.

Spirituality may enhance positive emotion such as love, forgiveness, and comfort and reduce stress, she added.
“Conversely, spiritual distress is associated with greater depression and decreased adherence to medical recommendations among cancer patients,” Jim said. “However, we can’t say for sure that religion/spirituality causes better perceived health.”

Patients with cancer may question their religious and spiritual beliefs and those with worse health may also experience greater spiritual distress, she said.

In an analysis of studies with more than 14,000 cancer patients, the researchers found that religiousness and spirituality were associated with better social health, stronger roles and relationships in the community.
Spiritual well being, having a benevolent image of God, and holding religious beliefs were all associated with social health, regardless of demographics like age, race or gender, as reported in Cancer.

Cancer treatment specialists should keep in mind that patients who are experiencing spiritual distress may benefit from talking with a chaplain or a member of their religious or spiritual community, Jim said.

SOURCES: bit.ly/1UyJuT2, bit.ly/1f3qcVA, bit.ly/1UyJzWI, bit.ly/1J67gDV, andbit.ly/1IyLQMe Cancer.

 

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