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Why Is Singing Beneficial To You After A Cancer Diagnosis?

Updated: Oct 20, 2022

After receiving a cancer diagnosis, it is easy to feel despondent and hopeless, but it is essential to stay active and positive, and singing is one way to achieve this. Singing is enjoyed by the masses because it brings a sense of joy and positivity, which is essential for your mental well-being.

One of the reasons why singing is beneficial after a cancer diagnosis is because it may help with your immune system. A study undertaken in 2004 highlighted that those who sang had a ‘higher level of immunoglobin A; an antibody your body secrets to help you fend off infections’. The Royal College of Music states that ‘singing in a choir for just an hour helps boosts levels of immune proteins in people affected by cancer, which as a result reduces stress and improves mood and well-being overall'.

Another reason why singing is helpful is that it may be beneficial for certain lung and breathing conditions; due to the fact singing involves deep breathing and the controlled use of muscles in the respiratory system. Singing alone will not cure cancer however it may help build your respiratory muscles.

Singing also helps bring people together and creates a sense of belonging. Singing with others tends to create a bonding experience, where people can come together and create a sense of camaraderie under one melody. Singing in a group causes your body to release oxytocin (also known as the love hormone). This allows you to feel a sense of inclusion, which is helpful for cancer patients as they tend to feel isolated after a cancer diagnosis.

This leads me to the contention of stress. A key benefit to singing is that it is a stress reliever. ‘Many people affected by cancer can experience psychological difficulties which can produce stress, anxiety and depression.

André Da Silva the Music Director for Cancer United choir stated that:

‘’I have always believed that if you can talk, you can sing. From my perspective, music is a wonderful and inclusive way to help, promote one’s wellbeing’’.

To conclude singing is a great benefit to take up after receiving a cancer diagnosis, not only does it help stress, it improves lung function and most importantly it is a mood enhancer.

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