In real life, many people turn pale at the mention of “cancer.” Cancer experts say that in addition to genes and lifestyle, one’s character is closely associated with developing cancer. This means that many cancer patients actually have a “cancer personality.”
Modern medicine holds that cancer is not directly caused by psychological factors, but by persistent chronic stimulation, which decreases the body’s immunity, resulting in autonomic instability and endocrine disorder. This enables cancer cells to break through the defense of the immune system and form cancer.
But statistics show that the risk of getting cancer for those with melancholic and introverted personalities is 15 times higher than for outgoing people. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) recognizes the link between personality and disease.
He Yumin, a professor at Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, says that those who have a “cancer personality” can be divided into two categories:
The first one is people who take themselves too seriously. For this kind of person, any trivial thing can make them feel anxious, angry, nervous, and sulking. They are susceptible to gastrointestinal cancers. He Yumin said: “The resentment harbored in the heart will be converted into pressure. It will make your body mobilize your physiological potential to deal with it, and always keep your body in a state of emergency. So you need to learn how to relax yourself anytime.”
The second one is the people who do not try to overcome difficulty at the beginning, and put up a desperate fight like a cornered beast until the last moment; they fear competition and feel anxious. With a long-term mood disorder, this kind of person is more apt to create the preconditions for cancer. Bad moods, such as depression, paranoia, sulking, and anxiety, are a medium for the growth of cancer cells.
Where ‘ignorance is bliss, it’s folly to be wise’ and ‘do not be too serious’ are good medicine
He Yumin said: “I remember that when a pancreatic cancer patient was found to have a tumor that had wrapped around the main vessels during an exploratory laparotomy, the doctor had no choice but to stitch her abdomen back up. But the patient’s family members lied to her that the pancreatic cancer had been removed.
“Having a carefree character, the patient did not think too much about it and believed it was gone. Afterwards, the patient remained in a stable condition, and went back to work five months later.
“Accidentally, from a conversation among her colleagues, she learned the truth, but she did not worry, just calmly saying: ‘I feel no pain at all, anyway. The tumor likes to be inside. Let it be, then!’ With her optimistic personality, she did not think about her disease very much, but lived in a good mood. As of today, 13 years have passed. We can say that she has survived cancer.”
Professor He added: “Whether an attitude of not taking oneself too seriously is true or is just ‘pretending,’ it will help you to regulate your mood, improve your physical function, and strengthen your immunity, so as to facilitate recovery from cancer. The recovery for cancer patients is benefited by their optimistic attitude toward life and maintaining a good mood.”
Cancer patients need to learn to live a ‘slow-paced life’
He Yumin said that after listening to his advice, many patients show regret and say things like: “At that time, I just stupidly buried myself in work, working my fingers to the bone, but in the end, I even wondered about the meaning of hard work.”
They did not realize that ‘success in a job is not worth the sacrifice of health’ until they lost their health.
Currently, developed countries have begun to advocate living a “slow-paced life” that “returns to nature.” Living a slow-paced life is not only an attitude toward life, a healthy mindset, but it is also a positive struggle, a high degree of confidence toward life. You must learn to slow down your pace of life.
Translation research by Joseph and Aizhu