We read all kinds of crazy things online, but one of them, “can stress cause cancer”, I ran across lately really made me think. I was on some discussion board and I heard some so-called expert say that stress can cause a person to have cancer. In my mind and heart I knew that this couldn’t be true, but I also began to think that the things we do to relieve stress (such as smoking cigarettes) could end up giving a person cancer.
As a man who just needs to know if something is true when I hear an interesting subject spontaneously, I did the research. And, according to the National Cancer Institute, no, stress itself cannot cause cancer. But smoking does. If you’re thinking about it, check out a well know solution below:
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Being that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to know for sure what the experts thought the relationship was between a person being overly stressed out and those specific negative feelings actually bringing about cancer. This organization plainly states that the chances of this happening are “weak” (NIH, 2015). They do point out, though, that a person simply knowing that they have been diagnosed with a disease such a breast cancer can be stressful in itself, and that the person can definitely have bad symptoms such as depression or anxiety after finding out they have been diagnosed with it. But still, the emotions that relate to stress can’t cause breast cancer or any other type of cancer.
BreastCancer.org lists stress and anxiety, though, as “risk factors” of breast cancer. Risk factors can be controlled and uncontrolled, and luckily stress can be managed.
Other ones they list that also can be restricted are things such as smoking and alcohol consumption, diet, and weight, all factors that can become increasingly negative within a stressed out individual (overeating, alcoholism, etc.). CancerResearchUK.org does point out that stress itself is what leads to these self-destructive activities that cause cancer.
- Psychological Stress and Cancer. National Cancer Institute (NIH) Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/coping/feelings/stress-fact-sheet
- Breast Cancer Risk Factors. Retrieved from http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/risk/factors
- Stress. Cancer Research UK. Retrieved from http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/cancer-controversies/stress
We hope we’ve offered some solutions and have answered the question: can stress cause cancer.