Naomi L. Baum’s story about how CMBM helped with her battle against cancer.
I was particularly touched as I watched the Israelis and Palestinians, in my group, overcome initial suspicion and the pain that inequities in health care cause…and come to know and appreciate each other as professionals and as people.
The CG program is much needed in Israel, and is of desperate importance in Gaza and the West Bank where people with cancer, particularly women, are often treated as pariahs.
Richard Sloan’s op-ed in the New York Times (“A fighting spirit won’t save your life”, January 25, 2011) is guilty of precisely the faults he attributes to those who believe that attitude can affect health – smug, self-righteous, and short on scientific evidence
In addition to removing financial incentives for high tech intervention, we need to educate clinicians in the impartial, critical analysis of all therapeutic options, and in supporting their patients as they act on the choices they make.
What is absent from Merkin’s account, and, most sadly, from her experience, is an effort to address the fundamental biological, psychological and social processes that may precipitate depression and contribute to its persistence: the severely impaired response to stress that may indeed be the consequence of the kind of prolonged early life deprivation and trauma Merkin describes; nutritional deficiencies (apparently untested in Merkin’s case) that can cause or contribute even to the most severe depression; and the need for the healing power of sustained and sustaining support and intimacy that may have been absent in early life.
On the other hand, Kolata’s actual or implied dismissal of the potent preventive and therapeutic power of diet and exercise, and of the role that attitude, mood, and social support can play in enhancing quality of life and perhaps prolonging survival, is ill-informed and potentially dangerous.
CancerGuides II is absolutely appropriate and accessible for cancer survivors and their families, not only for professionals.