Cancer – is it bad luck or a blessing in disguise?

by Anne Malatt, Australia 

When we receive a diagnosis of cancer, or hear of it in someone else, our immediate response has often been to say that it is “bad luck.”

In fact, a recent study attributed two thirds of cancer cases to ‘bad luck’. (1)

What is luck, and what does it have to do with cancer?

When something ‘good’ happens, like getting a great job or buying a new car, people tend to say “aren’t you lucky?” And when they do, we can be quick to point out that we worked hard for it, and we deserve it.

Yet, when something ‘bad’ happens, like a diagnosis of cancer, we are not so quick to take the credit for it! We are very willing to call it ‘bad luck’.

So, is it luck, or is it not? Are we responsible, or are we not? And if we are, how can we be responsible for the ‘good’ things, and not the ‘bad’ things? 

Many people who have had cancer say that it was a blessing; that it was the best thing that could have happened to them. It gave them cause to stop, to re-evaluate their lives and the way they had been living, and to make changes that they knew, deep down, needed to be made; and that their lives after cancer were much more full, rich and joyful.

I know I feel like that. The diagnosis of cancer was a shock, and a very big STOP in my life. It was no longer possible to delude myself that everything was fine, that there was “nothing to see here”, as I used to be fond of saying. It was a huge wake-up call, and a call to live a more loving and true way of life, in a much deeper way than I had been willing to look at life, up until then. It was a call to make the changes that deep down, I knew I had to make.

I am free of cancer now, but if I start to walk in the old way, to make the same old choices again, my leg gently calls me back, with a little twinge, a gentle reminder that the way I am walking is no longer true for me, and offers me an opportunity to come back to me, to who I truly am.

What if cancer were not a curse, but our body’s way of getting rid of something that does not belong to it, that should not be there? And what if that something got there because of choices that we made, and the way we were living?

If we could see life that way, the diagnosis of cancer, or any other serious illness, could become an opportunity to look deeply at ourselves, at our lives, and to live in a way that was truly loving, caring and supporting of ourselves.

And if we saw cancer in that light, it could indeed be a blessing, no longer in disguise!



Variation in cancer risk among tissues can be explained by the number of stem cell divisions
Cristian Tomasetti, Bert Vogelstein ,Science 2 January 2015: Vol. 347 no. 6217 pp. 78-81
DOI: 10.1126/science.1260825


827 thoughts on “Cancer – is it bad luck or a blessing in disguise?

  1. Thank you for such a tender blog Anne – it takes all the ‘fight, fear and mysticism’ out of cancer and allows us to consider the part we may have been playing, through our own choices.

    1. That’s it – our choices. And the great thing is that we can choose differently and new every moment of every day and if we do start to choose self love over comfort, honesty over illusion and many more, then we can definitely make a difference as to how our body will feel and what it wants to communicate too.

  2. It is not a funny subject, but it did make me laugh when I read: “when something ‘bad’ happens, like a diagnosis of cancer, we are not so quick to take the credit for it! We are very willing to call it ‘bad luck’.” The fact that the way we live and our choices have an indisputable impact on our health is increasingly becoming common knowledge.

    Calling it bad luck just keeps us in the false belief that we are helpless and at the mercy of a random and senseless universe. Choosing responsibility and accountability is far more empowering since if we have a part to play in creating something, that means we also have the power to do something about it.

  3. Why does it often take an incidence of “bad luck” for us to stop and re-evaluate our lives? Maybe if we all came to realise that there is no such thing as “bad luck”, or any luck, when it comes to our health, but that in general it is the way we have been living that has lead to the unwelcome diagnosis. To teach our children to be responsible for their precious bodies from young would certainly, in my opinion, do away with blaming anything and anyone for what is going on inside us, and instead look at it as a “blessing in disguise”.

  4. We are funny how we view things, what is luck and does it really give us anything or is it more of a throw away line that we attempt to use to explain things. Are we ever really ‘lucky’ or is this word just a surface layer of what we can read deeper underneath. To have luck you would have to be lucky, such a crazy word when you use it over and over. How to we get from one place to another? Say from bed to the fridge, do we just by luck end up at the fridge or do we make a series of movements and choices to get there? Interesting how we apply luck blindly or is it just blind luck. Our choices and movements bring us to where we are and no luck just the truth of it.

  5. We are very selective at the time of taking credit for things that happen to us. We accept some and have a ready explanation for them. We do not accept others and have no explanation for them. So, bad luck. Bad luck may work for someone if that which happens to them is not really serious and recovers from it. But, if it is something really serious, bad luck does not really help the person, as it misses the point to be learnt and does not generate the changes the condition asks for as part of the healing that the illness offers.

  6. Bad luck and good luck all depends on how we want to see the world… all based on our own judgements and perceptions but there are actually false ways of seeing. They do not allow us to actually read what is going on in that moment.

  7. The idea, or rather, fact that cancer, like all illness and disease is our body’s way of discarding that which should not be in it, is pretty amazing, and whilst it isn’t pleasant to go through, what a blessing to have the opportunity to get rid of it.

  8. ‘…how can we be responsible for the ‘good’ things, and not the ‘bad’ things? ‘ This line really stood out for me. Makes good sense. We don’t get to pick and choose, we create it all, so we’re responsible for it all.

  9. Interesting how we crave recognition for our contribution to our ‘good’ luck but are not so willing to take responsibility for our ‘bad’ luck. Accepting that everything happens for a reason has made me much more wiling to see the times when I have been stopped by illness as a blessing in disguise and an invitation to look at how I have been living and make adjustments.

  10. For me Anne the answer to your question is simple; having had and recovered from the ravages of breast cancer and the treatment was a divine blessing. Definitely a huge wake up call to make different more self loving choices which in turn leads to a more joyful purposeful life.

  11. An interesting question Anne, many people put cancer down to bad luck, if people realised that it was as a result of unloving choices, humanity may register that changing the way we live has huge health benefits and taking responsibility for our choices is a powerful thing.

  12. To understand an illness as the result of our choices and way of living means to accept the full responsibility for it. To understand that the body develops the illness to clear itself of the accumulated disharmonious ‘ill’ means honouring the body for its wisdom, honesty and never ceasing activity to balance and sustain or restore harmony. This is huge in face of a world that lives mainly in ignorance and denial of these 2 universal laws expressing through our body – absolute responsibility or karma and the divinity of the body, ie the body always being a part of and being in alignment with the universe. Could it be that illness and disease are a way of cleansing, reflecting, healing, awakening awareness and calling us to account? Approaching illness and disease, the process of healing and the way we live based on this understanding will change humanity for good in every aspect of life.

  13. We are, despite what we think, not a very logical species. For example if I drink a lot of alcohol and get cirrhosis of the liver that is bad luck, because my grandfather drank far more than I ever did all of his life and he died peacefully in his sleep at aged 97. If I smoke cigarettes and get lung cancer, that is bad luck because my mother smoked like a chimney all her life and never got lung cancer. We use comparisons like these to justify our irresponsible treatment of our own bodies and to not take responsibility for our illnesses.

  14. It is so shocking to receive a serious diagnosis such as cancer and yet we are often so surprised because we have been so unaware of the quality that we lived and how we treated ourselves.

  15. “What if cancer were not a curse, but our body’s way of getting rid of something that does not belong to it, that should not be there? And what if that something got there because of choices that we made, and the way we were living? What if indeed? Having had cancer myself also I know this to be true. As you mention, we are so quick to take credit for the good things that happen to us – but don’t want to take responsibility for the ‘bad’ things. We need to wake up.

  16. What if cancer is a wake up call, a call to take a moment or stop to look at how we are living, could we be living in a way that contributes to us having cancer? ‘What if cancer were not a curse, but our body’s way of getting rid of something that does not belong to it, that should not be there? And what if that something got there because of choices that we made, and the way we were living?’

  17. Hi Anne, your blog made me consider how we have pigeon holed cancer into ‘bad’ – assuming ‘good’ is to not have cancer. But what if we looked at it as a marker of truth – ie if we get cancer – what is it asking us to look at or heal? if we were to look at it this way it takes the shame and pity and sympathy away and therefore does not carry the ‘bad’ stigma we have attached to illness and disease. Now more than ever, with more and more people having an ailment in the world, isn’t it time to approach things in a different way, with truth?

  18. Ah yes, those ‘good luck’ and ‘bad luck’ labels are nothing more than a ‘convenient truth’.

  19. Definitely not ‘bad luck’ to get cancer. Even if we get tested for suspected cancer and then find out it isn’t that but some so-called ‘lesser’ illness or disease, we feel relieved. But however we have been living that led us to the diagnosis of ‘not cancer but something else’, could well become cancer if we do not change the quality of the way in which we live. It is a reprieve in some ways, but it is also an equal opportunity to cancer to stop, really take stock of how we have been living and make the changes needed to live in a more self-loving way.

  20. “the diagnosis of cancer, or any other serious illness, could become an opportunity to look deeply at ourselves, at our lives, and to live in a way that was truly loving, caring and supporting of ourselves.” A beautiful appreciation of how our body lovingly tells us how we are, or are not, caring for ourselves.

  21. “What if cancer were not a curse, but our body’s way of getting rid of something that does not belong to it, that should not be there? And what if that something got there because of choices that we made, and the way we were living?” I absolutely agree Cancer is Not a Curse and for me when diagnosed with breast cancer it was an opportunity to stop and reassess life in every way and just the beginning of making loving and responsible choices for myself and body. The curse would be if I continued living in the same way pre-diagnosis as I am not sure where my life would be now.

  22. We so need stop moments… And we actually need signposts to guide us in how to have these moments without such big things happening to us… Because when we do stop, we have much more chance of actually feeling how we truly are and what is going on in our body.

  23. I had never really considered viewing the good luck, bad luck comments in that way but you are absolutely right, it seems that there is a selective abdication of responsibility and accountability dependent on how judged we are going to be by ourselves or others,

  24. I now view illness and disease as a clearing of what does not belong, and often a wake-up call to stop and reflect on the choices we have been making. When viewed this way there is no ‘fight’ against cancer, instead there is a choice to co-operate with the body, to listen to what it has to say and to support it to heal. Luck does not come into it.

  25. What a simple way to consider the reasons that we develop illness and disease. Its so true that ‘luck’ isn’t the reason for anything, ‘luck’ in life, both good or bad, is a direct result of everything we have chosen before.

  26. What I have found is that it is not so much the physical, psychological or emotional ailment or behaviour that is the biggest grip, but rather the relationship with the words ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Every time I take away the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ label my relationship with the situation changes. So then what is our relationship with ‘good’ and ‘bad’?

  27. A simple message in this article that answers one of the worlds biggest questions “why me?”. When ‘bad things happen’ it is not because we are being struck down, punished or because we deserve it. It is a helping hand, a stop moment, a sign, a life line, a voice that has no words but if it did it would say ‘come back to what you know is true and I will reflect true health to you.’

  28. Another thing I have heard said about cancer is that ‘why does it happen to good people’ – as if getting cancer is a punishment for what we believe to be bad behaviour or actions. It would seem that this belief system is exposed as false by the fact that all kinds of people get cancer – so called good and bad people. My feeling is that there is a much bigger picture here, in the understanding of illness and disease, one that we are only just beginning to explore and one that will radically change the course of medicine.

  29. Many years ago I supported a friend going through treatment for Leukaemia. It was a time of deepening self-awareness for her which was very clear and bizarre as it might sound, she often looked radiant and more vital than she had before her diagnosis. I have heard many people say that getting cancer was a blessing for them and supported them to make different life choices. Perhaps then, making different choices is a preventative medicine in itself. It’s hard to measure really because we cannot know how many people would have become ill, but made proactive lifestyle choices that changed the course of their dis-ease. For me, there is an element of common sense in this though. Our lifestyle affects our health and wellbeing and therefore we can make choices that can change our course.

  30. What an inspirational blog Anne – from your first words until the last word I felt like I was getting a warm shower to remind me that I am the one who is responsible, and not my bad luck or my genes.

  31. I was in shock when I was diagnosed with a serious lung infection last year. I caused four (minor) car accidents in the three weeks after I heard it. After I came back to me, to rest, I could see it not as bad luck, but as a blessing. It allowed me the opportunity to look at my life where I was not living lovingly. For me it is absolutely clear that lifestyles are related to getting an illness and every type of unloving lifestyle leads to a different type of illness.

  32. There is so much out there about fighting and kicking cancer’s butt, and many cancer patients pride themselves on being able to get back to how they lived life before cancer… but with even more of a ferocity than before. Grabbing life and running with it so to say…. yet this is not true, and only a way to live with more of a drive. Could it be this mentality and livingness is what initiated the stop with cancer in the first place? Is that way of living really what we would choose to go back to if we really felt what our body was calling for?

  33. The result of seeing that there are no coincidences in life is absolute responsibility. Not in living a perfect life and not making mistakes, but understanding that everything our bodies reflect back to us, can be worked with, our sensitivity refined, our path of evolution understood and the greater truth about life itself revealed.

    1. Indeed we don’t take the credit for the so called ‘bad things” which happen in our body.
      We do take the credit if we do fitness and the muscles are showing off on the body. But if we create something else in the body we behave like victims as if someone else was putting it in us. As if things are growing in our body with no connection with us.
      That is very much not true. Every detail in how we move and how we live affects the conditions of our body. The quality in which we move can come from loving energy or forcing energy and that gives both a very different result in how truly healthy we stay in life.

  34. What if we are completely powerful in life, in the choice we choose to make? What if every situation and scenario is effectively controlled by us? Then we would have to say as you do Anne, that there is no such thing as luck, but just consequences of energy we align to in life. When you feel this to be true as I do, we can understand that no disease or illness can ever be ‘bad’ as it is simply giving us a reading on our relationship with our power.

  35. These are great questions for us all to ponder on – What if cancer were not a curse, but our body’s way of getting rid of something that does not belong to it, that should not be there? And what if that something got there because of choices that we made, and the way we were living?. The more we accept this as the loving process that it is the greater the healing that can occur.

  36. I agree Anne, I feel that all illness and disease is our bodies loving us and showing us the error of our ways. It is not punishment but a loving reminder that we are delicate and refined beings and to live in opposition to this does not serve.

  37. Also one I’m sure many have heard a lot is ‘it always happens to the nicest people!’ Anne you have exposed the absurdity of the beliefs and ideals we can cling to that support our comfortable existence… like ‘oh your lucky’ and ‘oh bad luck’. What if we saw it like a dog that has had a bath and stands there in the sun shaking every last drop of water of its back? The water being everything we have absorbed that is not who we are and have been running with for this life or many lives, being shaken off.

    1. Aimee, what you share here brings up that once I was meeting a man. his wife just died because of breastcancer. he shared with me that he couldn’t understand why because she was so good to people. i asked him how she was towards herself. he said ‘ oh, that is a very different story, that was very hard for her to be lovely to herself. I said may be it is there we find the answer.

      1. Such a powerful reflective question to ask him Sylvia or anyone who comes out with how they are the nicest person or do so much for everyone else. Questions like this is a form of medicine, an opportunity to stop and consider that we are unable to truly care or love another if we do not do the same for ourselves first.

      2. True Aimee, I could feel the healing when I asked and he answered. There was this still moment, a moment with God. Important it is that we ask those questions with a holding of love, and not from the head. If we do come from love, healing is offered.

  38. Just because something has the momentum of a meteoroid… In this case the world’s inclination to just keep on going until something bad happens, doesn’t mean that this is an inevitable path… It is actually possible to know one’s self enough to hit the stop button ourselves without waiting for the crash.

    1. I agree, because when we do get a stop, when we look back there were always little warning signs that we have chosen to ignore, the key is being more aware and then we don’t override or miss the signs, we simpy change how we are going about the way we live, by making more self loving choices.

  39. Of all diseases, a big fat one is our continual belief in ‘bad’ and ‘good’. For as you show with your experience Anne, every incident and situation in life is presented to assist us to return to truth. This design is truly divine and when understood, we can see it is much grander than any good.

    1. Hi Joseph, I love the way you call out the evil of the separative ideal of the ‘good and bad’ scenario. After all we are love and anything or way we are living that is not that naturally needs to be exposed to give us an opportunity to clear it.

  40. As you say Anne, cancer is definitely a big wake up call, a big stop, an indication, that something is not right. There must be one or many areas in life, where the person with cancer lives a lie. And this lie needs to be addressed, that is part of the healing, to become very honest and to make new loving choices.

    1. It is not just with people with cancer who living a lie in one or more areas of their life. It is for all of us in various diseases and illnesses as cysts, infections, breaking bones hernia etc etc all is showing this the same. It is just the matter what kind of issue we have that makes the illness appear in that area of the body in that kind of illness that shows us exactly what the ill lived momentum was. So it is important when we get confronted with a illness like this to do a very clear reading ourselves on why we have this illness specific in that area? For example :Why cancer in the breast and not in the stomach? What we have is an issue as living truly as a woman?

  41. We are responsible for the bad things that happen to us and the good things that happen to us. Cancer is not necessary a bad thing it’s actually a blessing from our body giving us a chance to stop reflect how we have been living and an opportunity for our body to clear and heal those old patterns. Sometimes the clearing happens and you can continue to live your life with out it ever coming back and sometimes you may die from the clearing. But in truth either way we have had a great opportunity in clearing and healing.

    1. If the cancer is in that state that the clearing brings the end of this life cycle, it is important to realize that it is just the body who is at its end. The body did all it could to support you to release all the ill chosen energies. Then for the next life it is gone. We don’t carry it with us anymore. We then can make new choices which can be more self loving and a great start of building further on true love in the body.

  42. Yes It would be a great subject for the teachings at schools. Can you imagine children sitting in the class discussing what they feel is adding to the harmonious feelings in the body and what isn’t. And by sharing they can recognize certain behaviors after taking certain foods etc. And a teacher who is also building that kind of true relation with her/himself. I can imagine how joyful that will be and the brotherhood in it.

    1. I love this Sylvia, this is the way of the future and a point we all need to essentially come to, that is to learn to listen intently to our bodies for they are our greatest teachers.

      1. katecherley you have hit the nail on the head with what you have shared here… ‘listening intently to our bodies for they are our greatest teachers.’

      2. Yes and if we become honest we will be shocked how much is known already by all. We all know that we are fooling ourselves so we can keep going in our comfortable habits.

  43. Anne, what you share confirms that how we live determines our bodies capacity to stay in optimum health or not. In organisational psychology we often say company success depends on good team work: people working together. In personal psychology our team member is ourselves: learning to honour and work with our body, not against it, is the way to true health.

    1. Yes Kehinde2012, we can be our own worst enemy as we get into the habit of ‘fighting’ against ourselves and not working with the body but against its natural flow, hence why we get sick. So true that when we honour and work with our bodies, ie we listen to them, this is the way to true health, and our bodies have much to tell us.

      1. Indeed Jacqueline. And that is so beautiful in the teachings that Serge Benhayon brings. They support you in becoming much more aware about what is going on in your own body. How to start to re-connect with our body and from there to make more honest choices, which supports the flow of the true expression of the body.

    2. By reading your words Kehinde I am getting the picture of a body and within it is all working together as a company. Every single part or organs and cells are responding towards the action of the other. And within that the body loves to work in harmony and it is us who bring in the disharmony or harmony by the way we move, eat, talk and the kind of food we bring in our body etc. We know very well what adds to the harmony or not. We are just mostly not willing to know because we like the plessure too much. And take the ‘side’ effect as it is. But the fact is that like a company who is in ill patterns for a while, when it starts to see certain not healthy ways of working, like making some people more important than others, then others for example want to make changes and they need a lot of time to clean up the mass they made first. And that is why illnesses and diseases kicks in for the body. It is the mess we created first.

      1. ‘the body loves to work in harmony and it is us who bring in the disharmony or harmony by the way we move, eat, talk and the kind of food we bring in our body etc’. Powerfully expressed Sylvia. We are the responsible ones: generating harmony or disharmony, absolutely our choice.

  44. Anne, thank you for sharing your article. In this week’s news scientists have changed there finding and announce that most cancers are not down to bad luck, but down to environmental and lifestyle choices. Our choices are really important, and we all need to take responsibility for those choices too.

    1. This is true Sally scientists now say that 9 out of 10 cases of cancer is caused by environmental and lifestyle choices, not cell mutation as previously presented. Serge Benhayon has been saying this for over 10 years. Science at last catching up with the Ageless Wisdom.

      1. In the Chinese-Western Medicine they also bring in the Emotional disorders as a cause of those illnesses. It shouldn’t be very new to hear this. Since we all know, if we are honest, that if we are living stressed or angry, or contract away from people, that our body is suffering and may be more than most, we are willing to see AND to take responsibility about it. Like indeed Serge Benhayon delivers so clearly with his Teachings of Wisdom from the Hierarchy.

      2. I recognize this attitude too in myself. I always wanted the solution so I could feel better, for that I was willing to go everywhere as long as I didn’t need to change the way I was towards myself. I refused to really start loving me. I did everything to avoid this, even with therapies which looked supporting but were not truly bringing me to start to have different, more loving, patterns.
        Meeting Serge Benhayon and the teachings he brings were shifting all my life in a direction towards love again, that which I am and we all are.

  45. What you share here Anne applies to any illness we have. We can so often settle for situations and behaviours that are ‘a bit better’ or ‘not so bad’. What our body is showing us with illness is these ways are not the full picture. Like a signage post back to our true divinity, illness is the greatest guide we ever had.

    1. And as well as it being the greatest guide, its also the truest way to heal deeply, if we take on board the lessons we are learning from it all and integrate a new way to be.

    2. It is being in that seemingly comfortable place that is very inhibiting of our evolution. At least with the shock of cancer it is a wake up call that encourages us to look deeply to how we have been living and therefore in a position to make a truly supportive change.

  46. it does seem to be a track record for humanity, that we need a big stop to actually stop and evaluate where we are in our lives and what is happening… One could imagine and revolution where very very small incidences, or things that happened to us would be sufficient for us to be able to stop, take stock, re evaluate what we are doing, reconfigure the way we are living, and for this to be all that is needed.

  47. ‘ …it is this allowing support that changes the quality in which we live. I recognize that Jacqueline. Lately I started to really appreciate myself and from choosing that love for myself I get a lot of support. It is the allowing of love to do the work and that for sure changes the quality in which we express, live our life. I notice so much more joy during my day, basically it is about connecting, expressing and celebrating all those joy with other people.

  48. it’s great that cancer can be the great big STOP that enforces a look at the way we are living. But also it can be simply a clearing out of something that has been let go of because of the changes that have already made. In this case it can be a celebration of the healing that has already been done.

    1. Very true Rebecca and important you bring that in. Often we can see getting ill as a bad thing. Like we did something wrong but the truth is it is either a way to bring us to a stop and what was really needed, or a beautiful confirmation that we have chosen more love and the old has to come out.

    2. Great point Rebecca – in either case, it represents an opportunity to discard from the body what no longer belongs and / or is not reflective of a loving choices, however in both cases it also requires taking responsibility for, and being very honest with ourselves about, our past choices.

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