Cancer: is a positive attitude always for the best?

Why are cancer patients so often told to stay positive?

Why do we always say that people have "lost their battle" with cancer? As if they've failed to fight hard enough.

We don't believe people with heart disease need a positive attitude to get better, yet with cancer we put an obligation on the patient to fight their disease with a determination to get better.

But what actually cures cancer? Mental strength or medical science?

Our panel on Talking Point discussed this today. We were joined by;

  • Dr Paul D'Alton, Head & Clinical Lead of the Department of Psycho-oncology at St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin
  • Dympna Watson, chairperson of breast cancer awareness group, EuropaDonna Ireland. Dympna was told she had breast cancer 10 years ago this week
  • Leslie Shoemaker, counselling pyschologist.

We kick-started the conversation on Twitter, @talkingpointnt, with a link to this talk by Dr Barbara Ehrenreich.

You can listen to our panel discussion below, and you can continue to let us know your thoughts on Twitter.