[MOL] TODAY'S NEWS- IT's THE ATTITUDE ! [02886] Medicine On Line

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Patient Attitude Affects Cancer Survival and Recurrence

A recent study suggests that cancer patients who are psychologically motivated to fight their disease tend to have higher rates of survival and lower rates of tumor recurrence than other patients. Researchers at University Hospital, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, followed the outcomes of 133 Dutch patients diagnosed with a cancer of the head or neck for six years to collect data. The study found that those patients who had a strong belief in their ability to overcome adverse physical or social challenges were more likely to survive their cancer and less likely to have a cancer recurrence than patients without such beliefs. Authors say the benefits of such "good attitudes" among cancer patients may be explained by the tendency of such patients to generally be more fit and to be more likely to "generate and test" alternative forms of behavior, such as smoking cessation and dietary changes. The study is in the journal Cancer (1998;83).