Can Meditation Cure Cancer? Science Answers Your Question

Can you use healing meditations for cancer treatment? Can meditation cure cancer? And does it help prevent it?

Here on THE DAILY MEDITATION, we previously shared the best self healing meditation techniques.

We know from scientific research that there are more than 100 health benefits of meditation. However, the idea that meditation can cure cancer sounds far-fetched and overly optimistic.

Let me be brutally honest about it. My personal opinion is that no meditation cant cure cancer. However, that isn’t to say that it cannot be massively beneficial for people with the condition. It can have a positive effect on survival rates. And it can also help prevent the condition too.

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Can Meditation Cure Cancer, Prevent It, Or Treat It?

There can be no doubt that there are benefits of meditation for cancer patients and for prevention.

The prevention side of the argument is easy to understand.

Meditation prevents cancer partly because it helps us to avoid the negative lifestyle choices that cause the condition, such as smoking [read: how to stop smoking with meditation].

When it comes to using meditation for cancer prevention and healing, it’s all about stress. Meditation helps prevent cancer simply beause it stops stress.

It’s long been known that stress plays a pivotal role in the onset of diseases. The way we handle stress has an impact on the risk of disease; it’s prevention and its cure.

So it is little surprise that meditation prevents cancer because the practice is well known to have a very positive effect on stress.

Psychological stress is normal, and we all experience it at some points in our life. However, some people experience unnaturally high levels of stress for a long period. And these people are more prone to developing health problems.

For this reason, it is worth considering the use of meditation for cancer prevention.

And it is a viable part of treatment, too.

We know from research that stress massively impacts the lives of people living with the condition. Stress and disease work hand in hand to attack the mind and the body, massively reducing the chances of recovery.

When we use meditation for cancer treatment, we stop the stress, and this helps the body to heal.

When stressed, the body releases stress hormones such as cortisol, norepinephrine and epinephrine, which increases blood pressure, heart rate, and sugar levels.

When we experience stress for a prolonged time, it causes severe problems on the body.

Stress can cause:

  • weakened immune system
  • diabetes
  • asthma
  • gastrointestinal problems
  • headaches
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • anxiety

Scientific research suggests that stress could cause cancern [1], though a direct link between the two has yet to be confirmed.

What we know for definite is that by reducing stress, we reduce the negative behaviours that cause the condition (smoking, drinking, overeating).

Enter meditation. We do not know for certain yet whether meditation can cure cancer, but we do know that we can use meditation for cancer treatment to improve the lives of people living with the condition.

The biggest benefits of using meditation for cancer treatment is that meditation stops stress, which has a very beneficial effect on the immune system (source). Of course, by improving immune system functioning, meditation does help the body to fight the disease.

Clearly, meditation can help with cancer prevention and treatment. But can meditation cure cancer?


It has long been known that meditation improves the quality of life for cancer patients by helping to reduce chronic pain. 

Now, Canadian scientists have released evidence that reveals that yoga and meditation can cure cancer.

Meditation and yoga alter the activity of cancer cells and can play a pivotal role in curing cancer.

Cancer Journal released the following statement about using meditation for cancer treatment:

“The research adds to the literature supporting the potential for stress-reducing interventions to impact important disease-regulating processes and ultimately, disease outcome.” [5]

The scientists studied telomere, the protein caps at the edge of chromosomes that determine the ageing rate of individual cells. They discovered that, over three months, telomeres remained the same length in patients who meditated or practised yoga. In contrast, those patients who hadn’t meditated or practised yoga were shown to have shorter telomeres.

In the study, participants were divided into three groups.

One group practised mindfulness meditation and yoga eight times a week for 90 minutes in a group setting, and 45-minute sessions at home too.

The second group practised mindfulness meditation and yoga once a week for 90 minutes and were asked to discuss their feelings.

The final group attended a stress management seminar.

At the end of the study, the groups who had not meditated had shorter telomeres than those who had.

This suggests that we can indeed use meditation for cancer treatment and prevention.

Psychosocial investigator Linda Carlson, at the Tom Baker Cancer Center, says:

“We already know that psychosocial interventions like mindfulness meditation will help you feel better mentally, but now for the first time we have evidence that they can also influence key aspects of your biology.” [6]

So can meditation cure cancer? Probably not by itself but it is a significantly valuable supplementary treatment.

The research has stumped the scientific community, who are shocked at the seeming power of meditation over cancer.

“It was surprising that we could see any difference in telomere length at all over the three-month period studied,” said Carlson. “Further research is needed to better quantify these potential health benefits, but this is an exciting discovery that provides encouraging news.”

Benefits Of Meditation For Cancer Treatment And Prevention

1. Stress reduction

While scientists still argue about whether meditation can cure cancer, what is agreed by all is that it helps.

The number one benefit of using meditation for cancer treatment and prevention is this: It stops stress.

Stress prevents the body from creating T-cells that the immune system needs to fight infection and diseases. Meditation reduces stress. Therefore, meditation can prevent cancer (or at least help with prevention) by reducing stress.

2. Emotional Regulation

Because of the impact of emotions on health, emotional regulation is a core element of preventing and healing cancer through meditation.

Heightened emotions, including anxiety and depression, cause the body to release hormones that, over time, harm the body. Adrenaline, cortisol, catecholamines, adrenaline, vasopressin, norepinephrine, and gonadotropins… Over a prolonged period, these lead to endocrine disorders.

Meditation improves emotional regulation, which helps balance these chemicals, thereby helping with prevention and treatment.

3.  Telomere Strands

Telomeres are the end caps of the chromosomes that inform cells of the way they need to grow and adapt to survive.

Chromosomes are literally like pieces of string that can become frayed over time. Telomeres prevent early degradation of chromosomes. When fighting cancer, chromosomes find and eliminate the cancer cells to prevent it from spreading.

It has been proven that meditation protects telomeres [3]. This, in turn, helps the body fight diseases, including cancer.

4. Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland. It helps improve the quality of sleep and boosts the immune system, helping the body to fight the disease [4].

One key benefit of using meditation for cancer treatment is that meditation boosts melatonin levels. This helps improve the quality of life of cancer patients and helps fight cancer too.

So we are still asking the question can meditation cure cancer? Honestly, it will be some time before science answers this question for certain. What we do know, however, is that meditation can help with prevention and treatment. And whether or not meditation can cure cancer, it is worth practising either way.




By Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a qualified meditation teacher and writer with more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation.