Pinktober Musings: World Breast Cancer Conference, 2011

What most people don’t know is that breast cancer has a strong correlation with unresolved emotional stress around Love, Acceptance, Forgiveness and letting go is the way to healing. Nilima Bhat shares some useful insights.

Cancer of the breast is the most common cause of cancer among women in both developed and developing countries, and is responsible for over one million of the estimated 10 million neoplasms diagnosed worldwide each year in both sexes. It is also the primary cause of cancer death among women globally.

At a more personal level, we are losing too many of our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends to this killer.

Breast cancer and unresolved emotional stress

I was invited to present a session on Love, Acceptance, Forgiveness and Letting go (LAF & Let Go) at the World Conference on Breast Cancer (WCBCF) held in Ontario, Canada in June 2011.

Here are some of my key insights from that global event, which I think merit public attention:

  • It was surprising that very few experts talked about the mind-body connection and the emotional aspect of breast cancer, despite the mounting evidence. Most speakers were asked questions about emotional aspects of breast cancer but they wouldn’t or couldn’t talk about it.
  • The breast cancer thrivers who attended my “LAF and Let go” session were able to identify with many of the things I presented and were able to surface some of the beliefs they carried and their connection with breast cancer
  • Many stories of their journey with breast cancer were shared. Questions like – how emotionally healthy are we? Have we really looked at our relationships? came up and resonated with the participants.
  • When it was pointed out that according to Chinese medicine, all diseases that affect paired organs (ovaries, breasts, lungs, kidneys, etc.) have to do with relationships, the attendees began to make the connection between failed relationships and their breast cancer
  • Another interesting finding was that women with breast cancer in the East/patriarchal societies, identify themselves as women before they see themselves as a ‘person with cancer’. They are afraid that they will lose their identity as a woman without their breasts. When diagnosed with breast cancer they don’t seem to be concerned that they may DIE. They are more concerned about remaining attractive and desirable to their men folk. This was quite a telling larger social comment.
  • These women need to be educated that breast cancer is linked to the inability to nurture oneself and that they need to rise to the next level of identity, of being an equal human being. They need to understand how to assert themselves and look after themselves and have a ‘sense of self’ independent of the men in their lives.
  • Lately there have been many genetic studies which show there are diff types of breast cancer which need to be treated differently, rather than generically. Often, women go thru mastectomies and aggressive chemotherapy without realizing the appropriate treatment for their type of Breast Cancer. If you are newly diagnosed, it’s worth asking your doc about the genetics of your specific type of breast cancer and then ensure the appropriate treatment.

Please help share this information widely.

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