If you’ve ever been to a school reunion, you’ve seen the difference between those who have become fat and bald before their time and the ones who look like they haven’t aged a day since you last saw them. I can’t tell you how many times I meet couples of the same age who look vastly different in their physical “age.” And what I find most striking is that nine times out of ten, the younger-looking individual has something else that’s not nearly as present in the “older” person: positivity. Optimism. An upbeat personality, a perspective that sees the glass as half full.
It’s cliche, but it’s true: having a positive outlook about the world and even the future of medicine is key to health. I see it every day in my practice, even among those who are prone to depression and do what they can to manage it successfully. And it’s easier to be optimistic if you remember that breakthroughs are about to happen in many areas of medicine (not just oncology) that will change how you engage with doctors and how you live.