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Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 1:20 EDT

Outlook Has Effect on Cancer

August 22, 2008

TOO much bad luck in life can increase a young woman’s risk of developing breast cancer, researchers claim.

Misery-causing events such as bereavement and divorce make the disease more likely, a new study suggests. Feeling happy and optimistic appears to have a protective effect.

Israeli scientists based their findings on a survey of 255 breast cancer patients and 367 healthy women aged 25 to 45 who were questioned about life experiences.

The women’s levels of happiness, optimism, anxiety and depression were evaluated before their cancer diagnoses.

Suffering two or more adverse life events increased the likelihood of developing breast cancer by 62 per cent; a “general feeling of optimism” was associated with a 75 per cent reduced risk.

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