Why Fear Can Be Fatal Especially After a Cancer Diagnosis According to Study

Conquer Fear Everyday

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s famous quote: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” is proving to be true beyond the Great Depression to the modern world today. The New England Journal of Medicine released a study in April of 2012 called “Suicide and Cardiovascular Death After a Cancer Diagnosis”. The study’s results were a saddening testimony to the fact that fear can be fatal.


A large body of evidence has been compiled, suggesting a link between cancer patients. The common denominator is fear, but the medical symptoms of this fear are frightening patients and experts alike. The New England Journal of Medicine reports that patients with cancer have been shown to be at an increased risk for suicide and cardiovascular episodes.

Researchers examined data that had been collected previously in the country’s health registries on over 6 million Swedes aged 30 or older between the years of 1991-2006. Their mission was to determine whether or not the psychological stress of a cancer diagnosis negatively impacted the patients’ risk of death. Out of the 500,000+ cancer diagnoses, they discovered that the risk of heart-related death was found to be 26.9 times higher and the risk of suicide was 16 times greater during the week following a cancer diagnosis compared to individuals who were cancer-free. It is interesting to note that this risk was significantly increased amongst patients with a poor diagnosis.

World War II POW Survivor


The New York Times bestselling book “Unbroken” tells the story of the World War II Japanese prisoner of war survivor, Louis Zamperini, whose spirit was never broken. His spirit burned fierce and bright, unsnuffed by the years of suffering and hardship he endured at the hands of his captors. He determined he was going to live, and perhaps this was the only difference between life and death for him amongst hundreds of men who suffered a tragic fate. I will not spoil the book for you if you have not had the chance to read it yet, but I will tell you this: all of Louis’ companions who said they were going to die did. Only the men who told themselves they were going to live survived to tell the tale. Perhaps that is the lesson we can learn from the power of the mind. The tenacity of the human spirit often defies death itself in the face of great odds.

What is the antidote to fear? It is a hearty dose of hope! So whatever you are facing…whether it is a cancer diagnosis or an autoimmune disease, don’t let fear steal your hope. The psychological damage inflicted by the extreme stress on your body may prove to be more damaging than the disease itself. It is an incredibly empowering thought to consider that a positive mindset may lengthen your life span. This past month I reviewed a book called “Hope Never Dies”, and I would encourage you to read it if you get a chance because in it twenty cancer survivors testify to the healing power of hope.


It is an incredibly empowering thought to consider that our minds possess the ability to determine our ability to sink or swim. If you are fighting a hard health battle whatever you do, don’t give up because your body will only give up without a fight if you let it. The choice is up to you because fear can be fatal.

Check out these other great articles by EMaxHealth: Study Shows Effect of Humor for Cancer Patients Going Through Treatment and Can Cancer Be Viral?


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