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E. Chronic Disease and The Will to Live

Narrator: This is Science Today. People with serious illness have a better chance of coping with their disease and ultimately improving their chances of survival if they have a strong will to live. That's what Dr. Ernest Rosenbaum, a medical oncologist, has discovered during his years of practice and research at the University of California, San Francisco.

Rosenbaum: You have to believe. Will to live is one thing, but believing it is another. And this is where faith and hope come in. They're vital ingredients with your determination that you're going to get well - but it's up to you.

Narrator: Rosenbaum has written several books on the subject.

Rosenbaum: The will to live or the will to survive is an inner feeling which all of us have. It's almost primitive. Animals have this and everybody, in some respect, fights for their life. But when you're confronted with a diagnosis of a serious illness, there's a fear of death. And the will to live is what helps you try to overcome all the impediments.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.