Much has been written about the importance of the mind-body connection as it relates to a patient with cancer. Unfortunately, many physicians still don’t understand or appreciate the importance. And in fact, many of us patients struggle with it too. We want to take care of ourselves, but often we focus most on the urgent task at hand, our cancer.
Tuesday, on Survive and Live Well, Dr Deanna Attai and I spoke about the mind-body connection to breast cancer. We spoke about hope; “A physician is in a powerful position to influence the outcome of disease”, says Dr Attai. “Even in the face of the most advanced of cancers, there is usually room for some words of encouragement, which can make all the difference in the patient’s attitude towards their disease and its treatment”. If a patient is told, “there is no hope; there’s nothing I can do for you”, likely the patient will give up or certainly would not agree to a potentially life-saving, but grueling surgery or treatment, or for that matter, might not investigate alternative options and second opinions.
We spoke about healing the patient with the cancer instead of just the disease of the patient; that in addition to needing hope, “Disease does not happen in a vacuum, you need to understand the whole person before you can even begin to focus on the disease, a patient’s entire situation – diet, lifestyle, feelings about complementary/alternative versus traditional medicine all come into play.”
We shared some thoughts on how words such as the infamous “positive attitude” and ”you’re going to be fine” mean different things to everyone and how they can often be painful to the breast cancer patient; small words, big impact.
Thank you Dr Attai for sharing your wisdom and experience to help us understand that treating cancer involves the whole person. Cancer is a complex situation….but it gets better when we connect the head bone to the neck bone… …all the way to the ankle bone. To replay this conversation please visit: http://hipcast.com/podcast/H1J8NTpQ.
Join us Tuesday, October 2nd, when I will chat with Dr Kathleen Ruddy as she clarifies the efficacy and potential of the first ever breast cancer vaccine and talks about the three different types of breast cancer, the genetic profiles that appear to distinguish them, and how this information can be used to tailor treatment for those currently battling breast cancer.
You can listen live, Tuesday, October 2nd at 1pm EST, on www.W4CS.com. Have questions or want to join in the conversation? Join us in the chat room!
For a show schedule and archives, please visit: http://elynjacobs.wordpress.com/survive-and-live-well-schedule/.
Words are a hot topic these days. Rachel Pappas and I also had a great conversation about words, tone and social graces in Cancer Etiquette 101. Check it out if you haven’t read it.
Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys. To learn about Elyn’s coaching services, please visit: http://elynjacobs.wordpress.com. To tune into the Survive and Live Well radio show, please visit http://www.W4CS.com, Tuesdays at 1pm (EST). To view info on upcoming topics and guests, please visit: http://elynjacobs.wordpress.com/elyns-blog/.
Facebook @Elyn Jacobs Consulting
LinkedIn @Elyn Jacobs