Power of Art Therapy
- New evidence from Roswell Park Cancer Center shows that those battling cancer who are exposed to art experience less anxiety and feel more hope afterwards.
- Actor Val Kilmer embraced art therapy during his throat cancer journey, which has become a passion of his.
- Studies prove that those battling cancer who are able to remain positive typically see better results from treatment; creative outlets can play a huge role in this.
According to Roswell Park Cancer Center, a recent art exhibition that was featured in their hospital provided some important data that may help those battling cancer and their emotional well-being. Researchers grouped patients into two separate groups of those who viewed the exhibition and those who didn’t, and found that those who were exposed to art claimed to have more hope and less anxiety following the exhibition.Read More
Cancer Warriors Turning to Art
Kilmer isn’t the only cancer warrior who has turned to art during dark moments in a cancer battle. In addition to easing anxiety, creative outlets can also serve as a way for people to share everything they’re feeling in order to cope. This was the case for three-time cancer survivor Marianne Cuozzo.
Cuozzo was first diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma in 1994 at age 28 and experienced a reoccurrence in 1997. Then, in 2014, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy for treatment. While battling cancer for nearly a decade, Cuozzo told SurvivorNet that she was able to cope during treatment by embracing her creative side and express her emotions through her art when she felt overwhelmed.
"I'd go in the studio, and I had these huge pieces of charcoal," Cuozzo previously told SurvivorNet. "And I would do these really angry charcoal drawings, and I'd roll them up and stuff them under the couch. No one was meant to see them because it was just for me and, my cathartic getting out my angerâ€¦My artwork is very reflective of my cancer journey."
Do What You Love
While battling cancer, it can be difficult to focus on anything except the treatment you’re going through. However, studies prove that patients who are able to stay positive during treatment typically see better results. Doing activities that bring you joy play a huge part in lifting spirits and improving attitude and mindset. For those battling cancer, doing activities you love can sometimes bring some much-needed positivity into your day. Whether it's a picnic with friends, hike in the great outdoors, or sitting down with a paint brush and canvas, it's so important to find those special pockets of joy.
"We know from good studies that emotional health is associated with survival, meaning better quality of life is associated with better outcomes," Dr. Dana Chase, a gynecologic oncologist at Arizona Oncology, told SurvivorNet in a previous interview. "So working on your emotional health, your physical well-being, your social environment [and] your emotional well-being are important and can impact your survival. If that's related to what activities you do that bring you joy, then you should try to do more of those activities."