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What is the role of humor in treating cancer patients?

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Quick Answer

The role of humor in cancer treatment is to promote overall health and wellness and help relieve the physical and mental stress of overcoming the condition, states Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Humor therapy, as it is known, provides health benefits to people fighting cancer, including boosting the immune system, relaxing muscles throughout the body, relieving pain and improving mental functions. Humor therapy may help a person fall asleep better, promote relaxation and enhance a cancer patient's quality of life.

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Full Answer

Though the thought of using humor therapy as part of the treatment to such a serious condition may seem strange, many people find it worth giving a try, if for no other reason than to feel better for a while or to provide a distraction, states Mayo Clinic.

While patients can look into joining one of several humor therapy sessions a hospital or treatment center may have, there are a number of things people can do on an individual level to experience the benefits of humor therapy, such as watching a funny movie and laughing out loud, states Mayo Clinic. Additionally, patients can spend time with family and friends while playing funny or silly board games, such as Pictionary or Bingo. Patients can also try reading the comics section of their newspaper or just spending a relaxing time with friends while going out for coffee.

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