Stress and Cancer

Stress has far reaching effects on your body.  One of those things is that it encourages the release of certain hormones into your bloodstream.  Of these, norepinephrine (adrenaline) seems to have the particularly nasty habit of stimulating tumor cells to do a couple things – break down the tissue surrounding them so they can move about the body more freely, and stimulate the growth of blood vessels that will nourish the tumors.

While studies are still being conducted and new information is emerging regularly, it does seem that stress can indirectly contribute to cancer growth.  

And stress also seems to lessen the beneficial effects of cancer drugs.

Does this mean that every time you have a stressed-out moment you’re elevating your risk for cancer?  No.  It’s not the momentary stresses that cause problems – everyone experiences stress now and then.

However, when stress is ongoing and chronic and when it is becoming an overwhelming part of life, this could be a problem.  Not only does long-term stress increase the chances of cancer cell growth, it increases the chances of a number of health issues.  That’s why we hear so much about reducing stress and relaxing these days.

Stress happens to everyone, young and old, from time to time.  But chronic stress and high stress levels can spell trouble for your health.  In cancer patients, stress can be a bigger problem when the overall stress of the situation along with stress caused by pain, surgery, treatments and the changes that accompany them is factored in.

Take especial good care of yourself when you’re ill.  Stress never helps.  And following a good stress relief program can be even more crucial than ever.