Two-thirds of current cancer patients, and more than three-quarters of former cancer patients aged 50 and over, are mentally flourishing despite their illness, according to a large, new, nationally representative study from researchers at the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work.
“Cancer patients were doing much better than we had expected. Two-thirds met our very stringent criteria for ‘complete mental health’ which meant that they were happy and/or satisfied with their life on a daily or almost daily basis and they also reported very high levels of social and psychological wellbeing (e.g. having warm and trusting relationships with others, and reporting that their life has a sense of direction or meaning). Only those who were also free of mental illness including depression and anxiety disorders and without any substance dependence or suicidal thoughts in the past year were classified as being in complete mental health” reports Professor Esme Fuller-Thomson, lead author of the study and Sandra Rotman Endowed Chair and Director of the Institute for Life Course and Aging at the University of Toronto.
“The news for cancer survivors was even better, with three-quarters living in complete mental health, which is a prevalence comparable to that of
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