Religious people are better able to cope with cancer than non-believers, according to a new study.
It showed that faith and spirituality were comforting to sufferers and those with the strongest faith claimed to feel better and healthier.
The American research, published online in CANCER, suggested that faithful people had better physical health, were able to keep on completing daily tasks and showed fewer physical symptoms of cancer and its treatment.
They were also less likely to suffer depression and anxiety.
However the work also showed the type of deity someone believed in affected how they felt.
Researchers suggested that believing in a benevolent God that answered prayers made sufferers more out-going and better at maintaining relationships.
The study looked in-depth at more than 44,000 patients and focussed on religion and the impact it has on people's physical and mental health.
It found most cancer sufferers had faith or took comfort from religious experiences.
Patients who could integrate cancer into their beliefs also reported feeling in better physical health.
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