Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Can cancer promote personal growth?

This week I learned a new phrase: post-traumatic growth.

It's pretty self-explanatory, but I didn't know that in the past 10 years or so it has become part of the lexicon in studying the after effects of cancer treatment.

Nick Tate, my editor at Newsmax Health, gave me a prompt for writing on post-traumatic growth and cancer when he forwarded me the results of a new study published in the journal Psycho-Oncology showing "positive personal growth" after breast cancer diagnosis in a small study group.

Other studies of breast cancer survivors – and one that I happened to find on bone marrow transplant recipients – also documented post-traumatic growth in various arenas.

I can relate, but you have to keep this kind of finding in perspective. A nurse gave me a button that I keep in my jewelry box. It says, Cancer Sucks.

And so it does.

A post on Cancer.Net put it well:

“It should also be noted that experiencing post-traumatic growth does not necessarily mean that the person has overcome the stressor. In fact, most people who report post-traumatic growth also report simultaneously experiencing struggles with their trauma.”

To read the full Newsmax Health post, click here.

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