Attitude Does Not Change A Cancer Outcome

I became a member of the cancer club on November 6, 2001. Prior to that, I had joined the brain tumor club. These are just a few of the clubs that people join when they get diagnosed with certain things. The membership is by invitation only. There are many ups and downs that go with your membership. One of the benefits of membership is hearing advice from people, both members and non-members.

One of the biggest topics of advice that I have seen is “attitude."

“Just stay strong and you’ll beat this!”, “Think positive”, “Cancer picked the wrong person when it picked you”, I could keep going with a million of these types of phrases.

I know that a lot of people talk about positive attitudes. Some people even believe that this positive attitude will cure the cancer. Some will even go as far as saying that a bad attitude will make the cancer worse.

Not only is that mindset not true, it’s hurtful to the cancer patient hearing it. Let them feel how they are going to feel. Support them where you can. Pray for them. Pray with them if they are up for that.

I do not believe that someone’s attitude changes the outcome of surviving cancer or not. I have seen cancer patients with horrible attitudes get healthier and people with great attitudes get sicker and pass away from their diagnosis.

So where do we go from here? I know I said that I don’t believe that your attitude will change the outcome. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it will influence how you live your life dramatically.


I have heard my pastor say many times, “Gratitude is the attitude that sets the altitude for living”. A good attitude will brighten up everyone around you the same way that a bad one will darken it.

I recently wrote about a CD that I used to listen to when I was going to and from chemotherapy. You can read about it here.

My Chemotherapy Song 

To say that CD changed my attitude each and every time I heard it, would be a huge understatement.

Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning

We are not called to question why certain things happen. I know that the list of things I don’t understand seems to grow on a regular basis. I can’t control the outcomes of things but I can control my attitude and I need to honor God with that attitude.

Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.


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Tags: Attitude, cancer, faith, God, Jesus, outcome

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