Positive attitude helpful in outcome?

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Question from Candy: My mother had a mastectomy in April of this year. She has not let this horrible disease get her down! A positive attitude must be helpful for someone who has breast cancer, am I correct?
Answers - Patricia A. Ganz, M.D. A positive attitude certainly is helpful in getting through difficult experiences such as treatment for breast cancer, but, at this time, there is no significant evidence that a positive attitude changes outcome. It certainly is a good way to cope with the illness.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. Going through breast cancer is a very difficult experience.

It is normal and healthy to experience uncomfortable feelings like anger, fear, envy, and guilt. You can't sweep these things under the rug. When you are in the midst of treatment, you may not have the energy to deal with them all either. Your mother's ability to talk about these things, air them out, and share them with you is probably healthy. This is probably the best way for her to work through them and move beyond them. By working through them, she increases the possibility of experiencing more upbeat feelings as she moves along.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Quality of Life featured Patricia A. Ganz, M.D., and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about how breast cancer can affect physical, emotional, social, and sexual aspects of your life.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in October 2001.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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