Medicine and Health Podcast

February 2018 Focus: The Mind Body Connection
gut brain connection
17 Feb 2018

The “Mind Game” and Cancer / Cancer Prevention

Originally aired on 02-01-2018


In this program Dr. Anderson will discuss both the known information around the mind-body connection in cancer patients as well as his own experiences with this area of medicine in oncology. He will discuss the support for the mind-body connection from the scientific literature as well as the various forms this can take. He will share clinical examples and helpful tips people with cancer (and their loved ones) can use.

     “Mind-body therapies are often portrayed in the literature as self-palliative, adjunctive, and complementary, but rarely as contributive to cure. Many physicians continue to view them as acceptable indulgences so long as they are harmless and the patient remains fully compliant with a standard treatment regimen. The possibility that such modalities might help drive the healing process itself is infrequently acknowledged. This article addresses the topic of such therapies, examining remarkable recoveries in cancer, and suggesting the need for a “Remarkable Recovery Registry” to expand the literature on these cases.”

  • Rossi EL. Stress-induced alternative gene splicing in mind-body medicine. Adv Mind Body Med. 2004 Summer;20(2):12-9.

     “Such stress-induced alternative gene splicing is proposed here as a major mind-body pathway of psychosocial genomics-the modulation of gene expression by creative psychological, social, and cultural processes. We explore the types of research that are now needed to investigate how stress-induced alternative splicing of the acetylcholinesterase gene may play a pivotal role in the deep psychobiology of psychotherapy, meditation, spiritual rituals, and the experiencing of positive humanistic values that have been associated with mind-body medicine, such as compassion, beneficence, serenity, forgiveness, and gratitude.”

o   Meditation: This simple practice has been around for thousands of years. It’s easy — just sit quietly and breathe deeply. Sometimes you repeat a word or phrase called a mantra. The idea is to gain control over your thoughts and breathing to help you relax.

o   Deep breathing: This part of meditation also works on its own. Just take a deep breath in from your diaphragm, hold it for a few seconds, and then slowly let it out.

o   Progressive muscle relaxation: This technique relaxes your entire body, one muscle group at a time. It can help people with cancer manage side effects like:

o   Guided imagery and visualization: Use them to harness the power of your imagination. Focus on a pleasant scene to steer your mind away from stressful thoughts related to your cancer or your treatments. You can create your own image, use a CD or video to guide you, or work with a therapist.

o   Yoga and tai chi:

  • Stories from the integrative cancer research center:
  • Other ideas – Self talk, How you deal with ‘stress’; Who is around you?; What messages do you let in? etc


Listen to the episode here!



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