A recent article published in The New York Times is entitled “The Island Where People Forget To Die.” In this fascinating true story, the author writes about Stamatis Moraitis, a Greek American who returned to his native island of Ikaria after a diagnosis of terminal lung cancer in his mid-60’s. That was in 1976; although Moraitis hoped for nothing more than a peaceful death on the island that he loved, he instead found his way back to health. Today, at 97, Moraitis continues to thrive on Ikaria.


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As October comes to a close, the enormous amount of publicity given to Breast Cancer Month wanes a bit. I’m a strong proponent of education, and of preventive health care. But unfortunately, for many women, the fear of breast cancer has now reached epidemic proportions. Fear is a stressor that, left unchecked, can actually contribute to cancer. Stress heightens endocrine and nervous system activity, contributing to allostatic overload and exceeding our ability to adapt, restore energy, and maintain health and balance. This interferes with our body’s natural cancer-protective abilities. It’s important to realize that much of the fear propagated by the media is fueled by misinformation and misunderstanding. For example, studies show that most women believe that their risk of breast cancer is far greater than it really is.


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