Can Stress Cause Cancer?

Stress is a part of every day life; there is no escaping it. Stress can affect your mood, weight, appetite, and overall health. Stress can cause abnormally high blood pressure and put your body at a higher risk for heart attack or stroke. Studies that have been done over the past several years have shown conflicting results when connecting stress and cancer.

Researchers study the psychological factors of stress and its affect on the human body. Although there is no direct link found yet by scientists, there are indirect findings that show effects of stress can lead to some cancers. Cancer is a complex disease that results from a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. Stress does lower your immune system. Lowering the body’s immune system can make the body more susceptible to getting virus cancers, such as Kaposi Sarcoma and other lymphoma cancers.

Connecting Stress to Cancer

Multiple things cause cancer but smoking, alcohol use, family history and being over- weight are the most commonly known factors. Researchers and scientists have a very difficult time linking stress to cancer, because it is difficult to separate stress from those different emotional and physical factors. The length of follow-up time to see if stress is causing cancer is too long many times for researchers to pinpoint if the stress was the reason for the start of cancer cells to appear.

The Effect of Stress on Cancer Patients

Cancer patients need love, support and strength on their journey to recovery. Stress to a cancer patient can be very harmful. Battling cancer can become very stressful and cause much anxiety for not only the family, but the patient, as well. It is important for the patient to remain as calm as possible. All of the patient’s energy and strength should be put forth in his recovery process.

Stress on the body directly affects a human’s immune system. It has been reported that stress on cancer patients can increase the size of tumors and the speed these tumors spread throughout the body. Also, there have been links in the psychological feelings on cancer cells. If the cancer patient is depressed and feeling like he is helpless, then the likelihood of the cancer to spread is higher. It is not a guarantee in all patients, but there have been many instances linking the two. That’s why positive energy and motivation are best for recovery.

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