According to a new study, the depression cancer patients experience may stem from more than emotional turmoil. It appears that depression can stem from patients' cancerous tumors as well.
In this case the patients in question are not people but rats. The lab experiment attributing depression to rats' cancerous tumors is described further at Cancer Care and Prevention [www.CancerCareAndPrevention@EverydayHealth.com , May 22, 2009].
Does this finding apply to human beings? Not necessarily! After all, only one of ten experimental studies involving rats ultimately ends up applying to people, based on human protocols scientists may conduct later on.
But think of the implications! What if tumors are in part responsible for human patients' depression, whether due to prostate or any other form of cancer? What it means is that once the tumor is removed, you'd have a very good chance of getting back to your former, effervescent self! That of course assumes that you were possessed of an upbeat personalty to start with, before the cancer came your way.
God knows, there are enough reasons nowadays to be depressed, given current economic hardships. On top of that there's enough family strife to go around, and obesity is still on the rise, what with two out of every three adults having a BMI of 30 or higher.
The study involving rats and depression has not led scientists to conclude that depression causes cancer; rather it appears to be the other way around. But I can't help wonder if the vicious cycle of cancer-based depression is as much a cause as it is an effect?
Given the mind-body connection, it is plausible that when we are depressed our bodies become more vulnerable to diseases of different kinds, cancer included.
The citizens of ancient Rome were fond of saying, "Mens sanum, in sano Corpore,/ A healthy mind can only be maintained in a healthy body." This is a concept we still cherish.
If only we would attend to both our mental and physical well-being more adroitly. Perhaps that would stop cancer and other diseases dead in their tracks!