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Fighting Cancer - The Best Strategy
Written By : Claude Lambert, MD 
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As I was thinking of the journey ones goes through while overcoming cancer, I was reminded of an unforgettable spectacle that we have all seen at least once on television. I am referring to the launch of the space shuttle. Do you remember watching this huge machine slowly ascend in a rolling cloud of smoke, spitting fire and with a rumble that sounds like a continuous roll of thunder? What an awesome spectacle! I had the privilege of witnessing the Atlantis launch on November 16, 2009, from the VIP stage at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Unforgettable!

In the first seconds, there is a lot of fire with no real motion. The shuttle's own engines fire first, followed by the powerful solid fuel booster rockets. These guys make the big smoke and the most noise. They provide the primary push that raises the hundreds of tons of metal and fuel off the ground and marks the start of the mission. After the initial liftoff, the booster rockets are jettisoned, out of fuel and having accomplished their mission. The shuttle's own engines, that have been pushing since the beginning, are now taking over full propulsion for the rest of the journey.

Without the booster rockets to break away from gravity, there would be no liftoff. The shuttle's internal engines could not overcome gravity by themselves. The role of the boosters is to initiate the early mega push. The boosters however can only push the shuttle up to a certain point. They cannot carry it into orbit. When their share of the work is done, it is up to the shuttle's internal engines to continue the mission to successful completion. Both are necessary for the journey.

How does this relate to your cancer? Very closely. After the diagnosis, your mission is to overcome your cancer. How will you achieve this mission? First, you have to start the fight with full power. This means getting started on your medical treatment. Surgery, radiation therapy and medication, called chemotherapy, are the common modalities used. This alone however is insufficient to completely overcome your disease. Your internal "engines" must also contribute to the fight. Too many people never learn how to use their own resources and fail.

In this analogy, your medical treatment assumes the function of the booster rockets by initializing your healing journey. Along with the medical treatment however, your own natural self-defense mechanisms, your immune system and a number of internal chemicals must kick into action to successfully complete your mission of overcoming cancer, like the shuttle's internal engines do. This is your best strategy. Interestingly, the shuttle has three engines and so do you: your body, your mind and your spirit.

Studies have shown that combining a body-mind-spirit approach to medical treatment for cancer produces a much improved quality of life and a significantly greater survival or cure rate. You can double your chances of survival or cure by participating actively in the healing process with a solid psycho-social program. On the contrary, allowing fear, depression and hopelessness to simmer inside you, consciously or unconsciously, has been proven to reduce your chances of overcoming your cancer. It is like turning off your internal engines. Your natural killer cells are reduced in number and are less active, interleukins and complex hormones are not produced and elevated cortisol hampers other healing systems. Without its internal engines, when the booster rockets quit, the shuttle would dive into the ocean. Under the power of the shuttle's engines, the mission goes on to completion. You too must fire your internal engines to achieve your mission of overcoming cancer.

A good Psychoneuroimmunology program will equip you with pain fighting strategies and help you to significantly reduce the side effects of your treatment. It will help you to maintain a positive and hopeful attitude and to shield yourself from the inevitable negative influences of cultural beliefs, mortality predictions, which are never accurate, and the doom and gloom attitude of your entourage. It will multiply your chances of survival and improve the quality of your life beyond your expectations.

Psychoneuroimmunology is the discipline that studies the interactions between your thoughts and emotions, your neurological system, particularly your brain, and your immune system. Your spiritual life is also a significant component of the "psycho" part of this equation.

A program that offers this powerful training as an adjuvant to medical treatment increases dramatically your chances of beating your cancer and of minimizing your suffering in the process. I invite you to seriously consider adding the human dimension of mind-body-spirit intervention to your medical treatment. In doing so, you will improve both your quality of life and your survival. This is the fight of your life: the fight FOR your life.

Dr Claude B Lambert MD invites you to visit this website. You will find select cancer self-help resources, amazing research results and have an opportunity to join a cancer survival forum and have access to a unique and comprehensive home based PNI program. Go to http://peopleovercomingcancer.org right now and join today. As my gift to you for visiting us, I will enroll you in our FREE bi-monthly content-rich newsletter.

Find out more about: cancer
 
  More from Claude Lambert, MD
 
Beliefs & Attitudes Influence Cancer Outcomes
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The Emotional Impact of a Cancer Diagnosis
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