Five attitudes are frequently found among people who have cancer and whose survival, and quality of life, stand out as exceptional. Here is the advice of the person responsible for the "Quality of Life" program at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

During a recent conference in Washington on ways to accompany people who have cancer, in order to maximize the benefits of their treatment, I was struck by a presentation made by Dr. Julia Rowland, who is the director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship at the U.S. National Cancer Institute and responsible for its quality of life program.
 
Dr. Rowland discussed the various studies that have examined why some people manage to survive well and live longer, despite problematic diagnoses that are sometimes very dark indeed. Her analysis highlighted five factors that are most frequently found among such persons:
 
1.     They had access to very high quality care, reflecting the most modern standards of treatment available.
2.     They participated actively in the choice of their treatments, weighing the pros and cons of different options and discussing them with their doctors. They also chose the lifestyle maximizing resistance to cancer (in terms of nutrition, physical activity, stress management, tobacco, alcohol and exposure to toxins).
3.     They established, and used, a network of friends and acquaintances that supported them during their illness, both in practical terms (grocery shopping, appointments, housework etc) and emotionally.
4.     They asked themselves questions about what brought most meaning to their lives, and engaged actively in those paths.
5.     They developed recreational activities that expressed their creativity: music, painting, pottery, poetry etc.

It's encouraging to learn that the things that help us live longer are also those that engage us in patterns that best nourish our lives.