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 new study by researchers at the University of Toronto "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). 

"The news for cancer survivors was even better, with three-quarters living in complete mental health, which is a prevalence comparable to that of individuals with no cancer history."

The study was large and nationally representative, giving researchers an insight into the lives of Canadians aged 50 and older who are currently battling cancer, have previously had cancer and those who have no history of cancer. 

"These findings of incredible mental flourishing even in the context of cancer is a wonderful testament to the resiliency of patients and an encouraging message for patients, their families and their health care providers" stated Fuller-Thomson.

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