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Stress Spreads Cancer!?

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It’s one of those things that everyone knows but no one can prove. According to the studies linked below, stress spreads cancer but doesn’t necessarily cause cancer. I can’t tell you how many cancer patients I’ve worked with talk about stress leading to their cancer or a toxic relationship leading to their cancer.

This concept relates to another concept. Everyone, according to research, has cancer cells in their body from tie to time. Something has to trigger the cancer to grow, become a problem, etc.

Stress can be a real problem for our health. But it doesn’t cause cancer…according to research. Or at least stress as a cause of cancer is debated.

What health problems can stress cause?

Stress can wreak havoc on both your physical and mental health. Some common health problems caused or exacerbated by stress include:

  1. Cardiovascular issues: Stress can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, and even heart attacks.
  2. Immune system suppression: Prolonged stress weakens the immune system, making you more susceptible to infections and illnesses.
  3. Digestive problems: Stress can lead to stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and other gastrointestinal issues.
  4. Mental health disorders: Chronic stress is a significant risk factor for anxiety disorders, depression, and other mental health conditions.
  5. Musculoskeletal issues: Stress can cause muscle tension, leading to headaches, back pain, and other musculoskeletal problems.
  6. Sleep disturbances: Stress can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to insomnia or poor sleep quality, which further exacerbates stress.
  7. Weight gain or loss: Some people may turn to food for comfort during stressful times, leading to weight gain, while others may lose their appetite, resulting in weight loss.
  8. Skin problems: Stress can worsen skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
  9. Reproductive issues: Stress can affect reproductive health, leading to menstrual irregularities in women and decreased sperm count in men.
  10. Cognitive impairment: Chronic stress can impair concentration, memory, and decision-making abilities.

I am a long-term cancer survivor. And I will say that I was under a great deal of stress during the years preceding my cancer diagnosis. But I can’t say that stress caused my cancer.

All I will say is that cancer in your life can cause serious health problems. And it is in your interest to reduce that stress. Consider:

  • moderate daily exercise 
  • sleep
  • meditation
  • acupuncture 
  • CBD oil
  • nutritional supplementation

I do/practice each of the therapies bulleted above. And believe me, stress is no where to be found in my life.

Do you have cancer? What type? What stage? If you’d like to learn more about both conventional and non-conventional cancer therapies send me an email- David.PeopleBeatingCancer@gmail.com

Hang in there,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Chronic stress increases metastasis via neutrophil-mediated changes to the microenvironment

“•Chronic stress increases metastasis in mice

Chronic stress establishes a pro-metastatic lung microenvironment

Deleting the neutrophil-glucocorticoid receptor abolishes stress-induced metastasis

Chronic stress induces metastasis-promoting neutrophil extracellular traps

Chronic stress is associated with increased risk of metastasis and poor survival in cancer patients, yet the reasons are unclear. We show that chronic stress increases lung metastasis from disseminated cancer cells 2- to 4-fold in mice. Chronic stress significantly alters the lung microenvironment, with fibronectin accumulation, reduced T cell infiltration, and increased neutrophil infiltration. Depleting neutrophils abolishes stress-induced metastasis. Chronic stress shifts normal circadian rhythm of neutrophils and causes increased neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation via glucocorticoid release. In mice with neutrophil-specific glucocorticoid receptor deletion, chronic stress fails to increase NETs and metastasis. Furthermore, digesting NETs with DNase I prevents chronic stress-induced metastasis. Together, our data show that glucocorticoids released during chronic stress cause NET formation and establish a metastasis-promoting microenvironment. Therefore, NETs could be targets for preventing metastatic recurrence in cancer patients, many of whom will experience chronic stress due to their disease…


Here, we used two mouse models that have been used extensively in studies of stress-related disorders25,41,42 to demonstrate that chronic stress increases metastasis. A key driver of stress-induced metastasis was GCs, through their effects on neutrophils. This finding agrees with prior reports that elevated GCs promote metastasis6,11 and immune dysfunction.43,44,45,46 We identified NETs as a critical factor in stress-induced metastasis. Importantly, the presence of NETs in the lungs and liver..”

Study Suggests a Link between Stress and Cancer Coming Back

“…Now, a new study suggests that stress hormones may wake up dormant cancer cells that remain in the body after treatment. In experiments in mice, a stress hormone triggered a chain reaction in immune cells that prompted dormant cancer cells to wake up and form tumors again.

While plenty of research has shown that stress can cause cancer to grow and spread in mice, studies haven’t shown a clear link between stress and cancer outcomes in people. But it’s difficult to study stress in people for several reasons, including challenges with defining and measuring stress.

Stress and Cancer: An Overview

“The role of stress in cancer is unclear. What is important for patients is that the reduction of stress may very well improve chances for recovery, improve quality of life, and provide an opportunity for greater participation in total treatment…

Many researchers have found that chronic stress can wear down our body’s defenses, lower our immune response, and make us more vulnerable to all sicknesses, including cancer…”



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