The ABCs of Health Literacy
I’d wager that everyone has some sort of reaction to the word “cancer”. Most of us probably have some sort of fear, some “bad” or negative response to the word. Very few people get a grin when someone mentions the big “C” word. Even fewer would join the words “cancer” and “laughter”. But, perhaps not surprisingly to those who know anything about the positive benefits of regular, honest laughter, experts in the field of cancer treatment are more and more doing just that: linking cancer and laughter…really.
For hundreds of years, people have used laughter to help deal with problems. It can distract us from pain and help us lessen the “heaviness” of bad situations. After a really good laugh, a belly-whopper, you tend to feel better not just for a little while, but for hours.
Scientific studies have shown that laughter can:
With all the bravado of youth – and what must be a bit extra in the way of problem-solving – California teen, Angela Zhang, set about answering the question, “Cure cancer…why not?” And, she may have done just that.
This amazingly motivated girl started reading top level papers on bio-engineering when she was just a freshman in high school even though she had no formal training in this very advanced area of medicine. She admits that it was difficult at first, but her plucky perseverance kept her reading, trying to solve the puzzle.
Apparently, through the knowledge she had gathered, and maybe a little bit of charm and chutzpah, she was able to get access to a lab at Stanford University by her sophomore year. By the time she was a junior (in high school, remember), she was conducting her own research.
She has developed an idea that just may, say well-credentialed researchers, lead to a real cure for cancer. (more…)