Saturday, 18 February 2012

Is there a cancer personality?

While doing some recent research for my blog on adreline, stress and my breast cancer I came across the theory of “the cancer personality”. I thought I would like to share this debate with my bloggers and colleagues and get some other views.

Danzae Pace ~ Stress is the trash of modern life - we all generate it but if you don't dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life ~

Maureen Killoran ~ Stress is not what happens to us. It's our response TO what happens. And RESPONSE is something we can choose ~
Author Unknown ~ Stress is like an iceberg. We can see one-eighth of it above, but what about what’s below ~
What do I think? I don’t really know what to think, and as said in one of my recent blogs, many professionals and people with cancer (as I do with my breast cancer) do think there is a correlation between stress and cancer but as yet is not proven.  To actually have a cancer personality though is a totally different thing altogether and lower down in this article it explains what some of those personalities are.  It seems from the study that it is how we deal with life stresses that matters the most and I have some sympathy with view.  I also recognise a lot of what has been said could include my own personality in the equation and I wonder if you do also.

I also do see the contrary argument that the belief in a "cancer personality" or that personality influences cancer development can serve to stigmatize those with cancer and add to their psychological burden. Are happy, well-adjusted people less likely to get cancer? Obviously not and there are also many other factors also have to be taken into account.
It is an interesting debate and Dr Ryke-Geerd Hamer is a very highly controversial character and many of his theories have been dismissed.  Below the article I attach just some of the differing views on the Internet.

“One of the most recent studies (1981) on psychosomatic cancer therapy comes from Germany. Over the past ten years, medical doctor / surgeon Ryke-Geerd Hamer has examined 20,000 cancer patients with all types of cancer. Dr. Hamer wondered why cancer never seems to systematically spread directly from one organ to the surrounding tissue. For example, he never found cancer of the cervix AND cancer of the uterus in the same woman. He also noticed that all his cancer patients seemed to have something in common: there had been some kind of psycho emotional conflict prior to the onset of their disease - usually a few years before - a conflict that had never been fully resolved.
X-rays taken of the brain by cancer Dr. Hamer showed in all cases a 'dark shadow' somewhere in the brain. These dark spots would be in exactly the same place in the brain for the same types of cancer. There was also a 100% correlation between the dark spot in the brain, the location of the cancer in the body and the specific type of unresolved conflict. On the basis of these findings, Dr. Hamer suggests that when we are in a stressful conflict that is not resolved, the emotional reflex center in the brain which corresponds to the experienced emotion (e.g: anger, frustration, grief) will slowly break down. Each of these emotion centers are connected to a specific organ. When a center breaks down, it will start sending wrong information to the organ it controls, resulting in the formation of deformed cells in the tissues: cancer cells. He also suggests that metastasis is not the SAME cancer spreading. It is the result of new conflicts that may well be brought on by the very stress of having cancer or of invasive and painful or nauseating therapies.

Dr Hamer started including psychotherapy as an important part of the healing process and found that when the specific conflict was resolved, the cancer immediately stopped growing at a cellular level. The dark spot in the brain started to disappear. X-rays of the brain now showed a healing edema around the damaged emotional center as the brain tissue began to repair the afflicted point. There was once again normal communication between brain and body. A similar healing edema could also be seen around the now inactive cancer tissue. Eventually, the cancer would become encapsulated, discharged or dealt with by the natural action of the body. Diseased tissue would disappear and normal tissue would then again appear.
According to cancer Dr Hamer the real cause of cancer and other diseases is an unexpected traumatic shock for which we are emotionally unprepared. The following list shows some of the relationships between conflict emotions and target organs for cancer.

Adrenal Cortex: Wrong Direction. Gone Astray, Bladder: Ugly Conflict. Dirty Tricks, Bone: Lack of Self-Worth. Inferiority Feeling, Brain: Tumor Stubborness. Refusing to Change Old Patterns. Mental Frustration, Breast (Milk Gland): Involving Care or Disharmony, Breast (Milk Duct): Separation Conflict, Breast (Left): Conflict Concerning Child, Home, or Mother. Breast (Right): Conflict with Partner or Others, Bronchioles: Territorial Conflict, Cervix: Severe Frustration, Colon: Ugly Indigestible Conflict, Esophagus: Cannot Have it or Swallow it, Gall Bladder: Rivalry Conflict,
Heart: Perpetual Conflict, Intestines: Indigestible Chunk of Anger, Kidneys: Not Wanting to Live. Water or Fluid Conflict, Larynx: Conflict of Fear and Fright, Liver: Fear of Starvation ,
Lungs: Fear of Dying or Suffocation, including Fear for Someone Else, Lymph Glands: Loss of Self-Worth associated with the Location, Melanoma: Feeling Dirty, Soiled, Defiled, Middle Ear: Not being able to get some Vital Information. Mouth: Cannot Chew It or Hold It, Pancreas: Anxiety-Anger Conflict with Family Members. Inheritence, Prostate: Ugly Conflict with Sexual Connections or Connotations, Rectum: Fear of Being Useless, Skin: Loss of Integrity, Spleen: Shock of Being Physically or Emotionally Wounded, Stomach: Indigestible Anger. Swallowed Too Much,
Testes and Ovaries: Loss Conflict, Thyroid: Feeling Powerless, Tumor (in location): Nursing old Hurts and Shocks. Building Remorse, Uterus: Sexual Conflict

5 stages of cancer of how tumors are formed within the body:

Phase 1 - Inescapable Shock / Emotional Trauma
This initial phase occurs approximately 2 years prior to the cancer diagnosis. This is where the individual experiences an "inescapable shock", affecting deep sleep and the production of melatonin within the body. Melatonin is necessary for inhibiting cancer cell growth and is the primary hormone responsible for regulating the immune system. During this phase a part of the emotional reflex centre in the brain slowly breaks down, creating a dark spot on the brain (viewed by X-ray). Each part of the emotional reflex centre controls and is connected to an organ or part of the body, and when the emotion centre begins to break down, so too does the organ or body part it is connected to.

Phase 2 - Stress Suppresses The Immune System
During this second phase, the immune system is suppressed by elevated stress hormone cortisol levels. The immune system also receives subconscious messages from the affected emotion centre of the brain to slow down, and to even stop working altogether. An individual experiencing "inescapable shock" often feels like they have died "emotionally" on some level, and the immune system receives these messages as a subliminal signal or command to give up the fight to live also. This causes somatids to react. Somatids are tiny living organisms (necessary for life) that live in our blood. Different types of somatids are specific to and inhabit different organs of the body. In a healthy organism, where the immune system is functioning properly, these somatids are limited to 3 stages in their life cycle - somatid, spore, double spore. When the immune system is impaired or suppressed, somatids pleomorphise (or change) into a further 13 stages (16 altogether).These further 13 stages are pathogenic (harmful) to the body and include viral, bacterial, and yeast-like fungus forms.

Phase 3 - Stress Causes Cell Glucose Levels to Rise
Over time, elevated stress hormone levels cause adrenaline levels to be depleted within the body, causing glucose (sugar) levels to rise within normal cells. The main purpose of adrenaline is to remove and convert glucose from cells for energy for the body, just as it is the main purpose of insulin to transport glucose (sugar) into cells. When the adrenaline reserves are depleted, glucose (sugar) levels increase sharply within cells - leaving little room for oxygen. This is why so many cancer patients are weak and lethargic, because they have no adrenaline left (or very little) to convert the glucose in their cells into energy for the body and their cells subsequently have very little room left to accept oxygen from passing blood.

Phase 4 - Fungus Enter Cells to Feed on Glucose
During this fourth phase, pathogenic microbes (virus-bacteria-fungus) that have pleomorphised and established themselves in a weakened part of the body, enter normal cells to feed on high glucose levels. This fermentation of glucose causes "mycotoxins" to be released (a highly acidic waste product), which 1) breaks the Krebs Cycle of the cell (a process that uses oxygen as part of cellular respiration), and 2) breaks the Electron Transport Chain of the cell, meaning the number of ATP molecules drops dramatically. (ATP molecules provide energy to the cell.) This lack of oxygen and cell energy means normal cells mutate during the dividing process - creating new rogue cancer cells. The body's tissue and cells become highly acidic (low pH) due to the waste by-products caused by these viral-bacterial-yeast-like fungus. Over-acidification of the body also occurs due to fermentation of excess stress hormones in the body, poor diet (low pH value foods), and lack of exercise. Viruses, bacteria, yeast, mould, fungus, candida and cancer cells thrive in a low pH acidic environment.

Phase 5 - Fungus and Cancer Form Symbiotic Relationship
During this fifth phase viral-bacterial-yeast-like fungus form a symbiotic relationship with newly created cancer/tumor cells. Yeast-like fungus is symbiotic in nature and feeds on the high levels of glucose to use for energy for reproduction of new somatids. The yeast-like fungus provides a natural fermentation process and ferments the glucose within the cancer/tumor cell, providing energy and a natural growth factor in return. The yeast-like fungus uses the cancer/tumor cells as a host or house for their rich reserves of glucose, and stimulates these cancer/tumor cells to propagate more houses. The result is a mass of tumor cells, or tumor sites. Yeast-like fungus prevent cancer / tumor cells reverting back into normal healthy cells (re-establishing their Krebs Cycle), as they continue to cause "mycotoxins" to be released (a highly acidic waste product), meaning cancer / tumor cells in a sense are held hostage to the yeast-like fungus that inhabit them.

Phase 6 - Stress Stimulates Tumor Cell Growth / Metastases
During this final phase elevated stress hormone norepinephrine and epinephine levels, stimulate tumor cells to produce three (3) compounds: MMP-2 and MMP-9 (both martix metalloproteinases) and the growth compound VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor). Tumor cells make receptors for these stress hormones on their surface, to stimulate these three compounds. MMP-2 and MMP-9 breakdown the scaffolding of tumor cell walls making it easier for them to travel to other parts of the body, a process known as metastasis. VEGF causes blood vessels to grow in new tumor cells, so that they can grow and spread more rapidly. News of cancer at this stage, often becomes a further "inescapable shock" and the cycle begins again with secondary tumor sites forming in different parts or organs of the body.

Trapped or repressed negative feelings are harmful to the body and increase a person's level of the stress hormone Cortisol - a hormone which has been found in many studies around the world to directly suppress immune system functioning. When the immune system is not functioning properly, cancer cells, that exist in every human being, can multiply and form tumor sites.
Most importantly high stress levels deplete adrenaline reserves that when low, create the perfect cancer environment.

Dr Hamer started including psychotherapy as an important part of the healing process and found that when the specific conflict was resolved, the cancer immediately stopped growing at a cellular level. Dr Hamer believes that cancer people are unable to share their thoughts, emotions, fears and joys with other people. He calls this "psycho-emotional isolation". These people tend to hide away sadness and grief behind a brave face, appear ‘nice’ and avoid open conflict. Some are not even aware of their emotions, and are therefore not only isolated from other people, but also from themselves.           
Of course a little stress can do us good—it pushes us to compete and innovate. But chronic stress can increase the risk of diseases such as depression, heart disease and even cancer. .   

The following are typical personality traits found in those with cancer:
  • Being highly conscientious, caring, dutiful, responsible, hard-working, and usually of above average intelligence.
  • Exhibits a strong tendency toward carrying other people's burdens and toward taking on extra obligations, and often "worrying for others."
  • Having a deep-seated need to make others happy. Being a "people pleaser" with a great need for approval.
  • Often lacking closeness with one or both parents, which sometimes, later in life, results in lack of closeness with spouse or others who would normally be close.
  • Harbours long-suppressed toxic emotions, such as anger, resentment and/or hostility. The cancer-susceptible individual typically internalizes such emotions and has great difficulty expressing them.
  • Reacts adversely to stress, and often becomes unable to cope adequately with such stress. Usually experiences an especially damaging event about 2 years before the onset of detectable cancer. The patient is not able to cope with this traumatic event or series of events, which comes as a "last straw" on top of years of suppressed reactions to stress.
  • Has an inability to resolve deep-seated emotional problems and conflicts, usually beginning in childhood, often even being unaware of their presence.
How one reacts to stress appears to be a major factor in the larger number of contributing causes of cancer. Most cancer patients have experienced a highly stressful event, usually about 2 years prior to the onset of detectable disease. This traumatic event is often beyond the patient's control, such as the loss of a loved one, loss of a business, job, home, or some other major disaster. The typical cancer personality has lost the ability to cope with these extreme events, because his/her coping mechanism lies in his/her ability to control the environment. When this control is lost, the patient has no other way to cope.

Major stress causes suppression of the immune system, and does so more overwhelmingly in the cancer-susceptible individual than in others. Thus personal tragedies and excessive levels of stress appear to combine with the underlying personality described above to bring on the immune deficiency which allows cancer to thrive.
Those susceptible to cancer, are highly vulnerable to life's stresses and trauma, and feel unable to cope when life throws a curve-ball their way. These people are perfectionists and live in fear of conflict, stress, trauma and loss and are deeply frightened of negative events "happening" to them. And when faced with a highly stressful or traumatic event they have not anticipated, which inevitably happens during their life, react adversely and are unable to cope.

They experience inescapable shock and remain deeply affected by the experience. They have difficulty in expressing their inner grief, their inner pain, their inner anger or resentment, and genuinely feel there is no way out of the pain they are feeling inside. And because their mind cannot fathom what has happened, and remains in a state of disbelief or denial, these inner painful feelings are continually perpetuated, shooting up stress levels, lowering melatonin and adrenaline levels, causing a slow breakdown of the emotional reflex centre in the brain, and creating the beginning of cancer progression in the body.
When faced with a major trauma, the cancer personality feels trapped and unable to escape from the memory of the traumatic experience and the painful feelings of the experience. Stress hormone cortisol levels skyrocket and remain at high levels, directly suppressing the immune system, whose job it is to destroy cancer cells that exist in every human being. High stress levels generally means a person cannot sleep well, and cannot produce enough Melatonin during deep sleep. Melatonin is responsible for inhibiting cancer cell growth. This means cancer cells are now free to multiply. Adrenaline levels also skyrocket initially, but are then drained and depleted over time. This is especially bad news for the cancer personality.”

1 comment:

  1. I'm also looking into the concept of the 'cancer personality' and am of two minds concerning it. However, your information and research is most helpful. I myself put together a post on self-expression, particularly concerning anger, and its relationship to cancer, if you'd like to compare notes ( I do know that, as a therapist, I've had some very conflict-loving people who came down with cancer, so this clearly doesn't hold true in every case! Candida