Arnold Hutchnecker, author of “The will to live”, wrote, “Depression is a partial surrender to death, and it seems that cancer is desperation at the cellular level”.


Humans are obsessed with the negative. Have you ever seen a TV news broadcaster who gives only good news? I heard an unusual l individual who tried that and promptly went bankrupt. Stress is bad for you, and it is often a contributing cause for disease.


Much of the early work demonstrating that emotions can cause illness was undertaken by hands Sayle at the University of Prague in the 1920’s. Later as a director of the Institute of experimental medicine and surgery at the University of Montreal  Sayle “discovered that chronic stress suppress the immune system which is responsible for engulfing and destroying cancerous cells or alien micro organisms. The important point is this: the physical condition Seyle describes as being produced by stress are virtually identical to those under which abnormal cells could reproduce and spread into dangerous cancer.”

In the modern world we are under constant emotional pressure. Crisis and wars are everywhere. How can we avoid the stress that anguish, fear and depression cause?

The actions and reactions of our bodies are, more than anything else, responses to the attitudes with which we confront the events, problems, challenges, experiences, memories and expectations of our lives. Researchers are just discovering how depression, pessimism, excitement and optimism directly and physically affect the reactions and capabilities of our immune system. Yet Galen, in the second century had already asserted that depressed man or women more easily fell prey to cancer than those of the more sanguine temperament.

Evidence published by Dr. William Morton of the University of Oregon shows that stay-at-home-moms who feel useless contract cancer with 54% more frequency than the general population and with 157 percent higher incidence than women who work. Wives and mothers who feel that they make a substantial contribution, who know they are an irreplaceable team member in the family, have a lower incidence of cancer. What an awesome correlation between frustration and dissatisfaction and the crippling of the bodies system of defense.

Divorced persons have the highest index of cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, high blood pressure, cancer and, even though you may doubt it, fatal accidents. Did you notice on my previous post regarding the stress scale that divorce causes more stress than imprisonments? The number of couples splitting up because of irreconcilable differences is staggering. A lot of people out there are in high-risk categories.

We have a society of depressed, resentful adults and the children will either hate themselves because they feel responsible for divorce or hate their parents because they are they were abandoned by them. It shouldn’t surprise is that TIME Magazine stated, “The history of hate in the family is one of the primary factors which determines risk, the risk of contracting cancer, that the most devastating plague of the 20th century.

The power of the positive

Until very recently, giving hope to patients was considered almost criminal. We have chosen “Oasis of Hope” as the name of our Contreras Cancer Care Center because our whole existence depends on hope.

After I delivered a speech in an Oncological meeting recently, a colleague accused me of selling false hope. Trying to calm him down, I asked him what his definition of “true” hope was. I intended the question to help them understand that either there is hope, or there is not. Hope is not true or false. To hope or not to hope – this is what the patient faces. Doctors fear encouraging their patients’ hope, because they know the limitations of the available therapies. Yet hopelessness makes cancer the victor.

Thank God, more and more doctors are acknowledging the value of encouraging to patients. But love for the patient was exchanged long ago for the academic passion for research. Feelings, emotions, fears and expectations are still ridiculed. This is tragic, especially in view of scientific research that shows how much a patient benefits from a hopeful perspective.

The happy person is not the one who has only good things happen to him or her, but is the one who keeps a positive attitude, even in adverse circumstances. A great part of this positive attitude is spiritual. Those who can rest in God, trusting Him no matter what, do better in difficult situations.

In the Bible we read of the prophet Habakkuk, who in the midst of good times cried out:

17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:

18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

19 The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

Habakkuk 317 to 19

Habakkuk was ready and willing to keep a positive outlook, giving thanks even if his fate would turn for the worst.

The concept that we are children of an Almighty God who cares about us and acts on behalf of our problems is mythical for most. God is a concept, not a being, to most – much less a person of action. But Jesus said:

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Mathew 7:9-11

If science convinces you that it is not reasonable to believe in a loving God, then you cannot take advantage of the huge benefits, physical and spiritual, that faith provides.

But if you embrace the offer of trusting in God’s care for you, and you’re earnestly and reasonably put your trust in God, your perception about life and its problems begin to shift. The action of God is often suffocated and strangulated when we don’t give it all over to him.

I often console my patients to turn their fear of the cancer that is attacking their bodies over to God. I have watched as these individuals are relieved of their fear and respond better to the treatments. It is almost as if cancer has a mind of its own and thinks, It is no fun attacking this person: he isn’t afraid of me anymore. And the cancer leaves that person’s body and looks for another victim.

What really happens is that the stress caused by fear is detrimental to the immune system. A person with a depressed immune system has a much harder time fighting off cancer. When a person can release the fear, the stress is reduced, and the immune system will function to better help the patient win the battle against cancer.

Let’s cultivate the habit of thinking big, and we will learn to use words that will allow God to make us conquerors. Let’s not say we can’t when God has said we can.

By. Dr. Francisco Contreras

Excerpt from “The Hope of Living Cancer Free”