The topic of maintaining a positive attitude during cancer treatment is brought up time and time again. You can find endless words of encouragement online and there was even a study which looked into whether positive thinking could help fight the disease.

But what does “staying positive” actually mean and more importantly, how do people living with cancer feel about being told to think positively?

We recently received a message from someone in the cancer community who told us that she did not find quotes and messages of positivity helpful. She told us that she thinks “they put pressure on people to be, think, feel, and behave accordingly.” She added: “Not everyone floats through cancer and its treatment with serenity and support. Not everyone is positive the whole way through, nor should they feel obliged to be.”

This really got us thinking – how many other people feel this way? Is she an anomaly or is this the common consensus?

What better way to find out than asking you  – our fellow readers and social followers. So yesterday (Aug 24) we hosted our very first Twitter Chat to find out how you feel about cancer and positive thinking.

We had a great turn out, with participants including Bowel Cancer UK, Your Sim Pal, Tea & Chemo author Jackie Buxton and several cancer bloggers and vloggers. For more than an hour, opinions, (some shocking) stories and advice were shared using our Twitter Chat hashtag #LBWcancerchat.

In case you missed it, we’ve rounded up some of the responses to our cancer and positive thinking Twitter Chat below.

The first question we asked was, “Is ‘stay positive’ a helpful piece of advice for cancer patients?”

The second question we asked was, “What’s the most condescending/annoying advice you’ve heard following your diagnosis?”

To read all the tweets from the chat, visit us on Twitter and search #LBWcancerchat.