I am close to completing a chapter in my new book about stress. Although it has yet to be proven chronic stress can cause cancer, few researchers dispute the fact stress can speed tumor growth.
Here is a British study I found on The Press Association site, claiming to confirm the direct link between stress and cancer for the first time:
Studies confirm stress-cancer link
(UKPA) – Jan 13, 2010
A direct connection between stress and cancer has been confirmed by scientists for the first time.
Researchers found stressed cells can generate tumour-inducing signals that affect their neighbours.
Although the study was carried out on fruit flies, the same genes and biological pathways involved are found in humans.
Chronic inflammation, a key cause of stress, is already known to be associated with tumour growth in human cancer patients.
Some experts believe negative emotions, stress hormones, inflammation and cancer may all be linked, but the evidence is not clear. Until now it was widely believed that cancer-causing genetic mutations only affected individual cells.
The new research shows this is not always the case. Different cancer mutations in separate cells can co-operate to promote the development of tumours.
Scientists in the US and China focused on the activity of two mutant genes known to be involved in human cancers. One, called RAS, has been implicated in 30% of cancers. The other, a tumour-suppressing gene called “scribble” allows cancers to develop when it becomes defective. However, neither a mutated RAS gene nor a mutant version of scribble can cause cancer on its own.
The researchers studied fruit flies carrying both gene mutations. They found that a cell with only mutant RAS can develop into a malignant tumour if assisted by a nearby cell with defective scribble.
Stress was the factor that linked them together, causing signalling proteins called cytokines to travel between the cells. The process of stress signalling, known as JNK, can be activated by a range of environmental influences.
Study leader Professor Tian Xu, from Yale University School of Medicine in Connecticut, US, said in the report for the journal Nature: “A lot of different conditions can trigger stress signalling: physical stress, emotional stress, infections, inflammation – all these things. Bad news for cancer.”
Copyright © 2010 The Press Association. All rights reserved.
It is a fact: Chronic stress is bad for anyone’s health—especially those of us with cancer. Just knowing this can be stressful! I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get stressed just trying not to get stressed!
Feel good, keep smiling and try to live one moment—one day at a time! And after you learn how to do that, could you please share your secret with the rest of us? Pat