Is There A Cancer-Prone Personality? (2 of 3)


Does your personality make you more susceptible to cancer? Dr. Douglas Brodie who has over three decades of experience working with cancer patients tells us the 7 characteristics of of a cancer-prone person and also the 7 characteristics of a ‘cancer-thriver’.

Douglas Brodie

Dr Douglas Brodie (founder of the Reno Integrative Medical Clinic in Nevada, USA) is more than a certified homeopath and a conventional medical practitioner. For over 35 years, he has worked with thousands of people with cancer, observing and studying their behaviour patterns.

7 Common Characteristics To Watch For

  1. Being highly dutiful, responsible, caring and hardworking and usually of above average intelligence.
  2. A strong tendency towards carrying other people’s burden and obligations, often described as “worrying for others”.
  3. Having a deep-seated need to make others happy earning the tag of “people pleasers”
  4. Often having a history of lack of closeness with one or both parents, resulting in lack of closeness with spouse or people who are normally close.
  5. Harboring long-suppressed toxic emotions such as anger, resentment or hostility.
  6. Usually experiencing an especially damaging event about 2 years before the onset of detectable cancer.
  7. The inability to cope with the trauma of this event often becomes the last straw to years of suppressed reactions to stress.

Dr. Brodie says “These cancer-susceptible individuals often carry long suppressed emotions, such as anger, resentment and hostility, usually arising in childhood, which have been internalized to such an extent that such individuals have extreme difficulty in bringing these unacceptable emotions to the surface. As with many illnesses, whatever goes on mentally, emotionally and spiritually inside these people can have a profound affect on their physical health. The immune system in particular is continually under the influence of these factors. Conventional medicine has only just begun to recognize the connection between the mind, the emotions and the immune system. It has been our consistent observation that those patients who are best able to resolve these issues, along with being willing and able to make other lifestyle changes, are the most successful cancer survivors.”

7 Characteristics Of Successful Cancer Survivors

Conversely, Brodie has also identified certain consistent qualities which differentiate what he calls as successful cancer survivors (and what we call ‘thrivers’) from the others.

  1. Willing and able to reverse a stressful life-style, to reduce heavy obligations, burdens and anxieties, and who learn to say “No” to those who would lay burdens upon them.
  2. Ready and eager to take charge of their own health care, to study in depth the various alternatives, and to make dietary and other changes in their physical lifestyle.
  3. Able to reject the idea that the diagnosis of cancer automatically means death and that conventional treatment offers the only hope.
  4. Willing to accept responsibility for the behavioral factors which led to the disease, to submit to self-assessment, and to make the necessary adjustments and corrections to eliminate these factors.
  5. Prepare to abandon destructive and “toxic” emotions such as fear, anger, resentment, guilt and self-pity, replacing these with such positive emotions as hope, love, forgiveness, gentleness, confidence and faith.
  6. Able to overcome inhibitions, particularly learned restraints which may have prevented full personal/social (and even sexual) gratification, allowing guiltless and total fulfillment.
  7. Aware of the critical importance of spiritual growth and developing faith in God or their own concept of a Higher Power.

So I would say that all the therapies around the world will only be effective if we can change the way we see ourselves (and life).

What we see is what we get!


  • Do you find any characteristics of cancer patients and thrivers in yourself?
  • What can you do to address the problems?




Written by Shalini Raja, a student of Communications from Mount Carmel College, Bangalore

More from this series

Title About the article
Part 1 Based on the clear evidence that psychological factors – our belief systems, emotions, attitudes, behaviours, relationships, response to life events, etc. – play a role in causing illness and in preventing and reversing illness, the question often asked is: Is there a cancer-prone personality? And if so, what is its psychological basis?
Part 2 Let us take a second expert’s view of the cancer-prone personality.
Part 3 This is our 3rd article in this series investigating the Cancer-prone personality.




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