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Does Stress Cause Cancer?

February 11, 2022

6 min read

Author : United We Care
Does Stress Cause Cancer?


Stress is psychological pain or an emotional strain that may occur in response to emotional and physical changes or events in the surroundings. 
Having stress can sometimes positively impact and increase a person’s overall performance. However, excessive stress can lead to significant health issues such as strokes, mental illness, or even life-threatening diseases such as cancer.
Health concerns that may occur due to stress including

What causes stress?

Stress is the inability to cope with environmental changes. In some cases, stress can be a motivating factor for a person. However, the environment or internal perception may cause chronic stress. 
The stress level depends on an individual’s personality and dealing with the situation. Some people tackle stress merely as a bump in life and overcome it. In contrast, others cannot handle it wisely and worry themselves sick.
In general, stress is mainly work-related. It may be due to:

  1. Dissatisfaction in job
  2. Heavy load of work
  3. Overwhelming  responsibilities
  4. Long working hours
  5. Unclear work expectations
  6. Dangerous work environment
  7. Risk of termination
  8. Harassment or Discrimination at the workplace

Other possible causes of stress may be life-related and include:

  1. Loss of job
  2. Death of a loved one
  3. Marriage
  4. Divorce
  5. Increasing demand of financial needs
  6. Financial setback
  7. Responsibility of an elderly or sick family member
  8. Chronic illness
  9. Building a new home
  10. Emotional issues such as depression, anxiety, grief
  11. Traumatic episodes such as theft, rape, or violence

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Stress is a killer, literally!

Stress is the primary cause of irritability, anxiety, and depression. It is an unavoidable fact of life that can lead to serious health issues or even cause death. Some health concerns that may occur due to stress include:

  1. Insomnia
  2. Irritability
  3. Anxiety
  4. Depression 
  5. Lack of concentration

According to researchers, stress can affect the functionality of the heart. It can slow down the pumping or change the rhythm of the heart. Besides, prolonged stress can cause the sudden death of patients with arrhythmias. 
Stress can cause cardiovascular issues or encourage unhealthy habits such as smoking or alcohol consumption. These factors may lead to premature death.
Prolonged stress can lead to excessive anger, generate negative emotions, and cause long-term depression. It can damage the body tissues and cause inflammation, headaches, ulcers, and decrease the sexual desire in a person.  
In short, if left untreated for a long-time, stress can lead to life-threatening problems and sometimes even death.

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Stress can lead to cancer.

Stress is a part of life; one can overcome it with time. However, chronic stress can have a long-term and profound impact on a person’s health.
Psychological stress can cause significant mental and physical issues. It weakens the immune system and decreases the body’s strength to fight against diseases and infections. It may also lead to some severe conditions.
A serious question that creeps into the mind is: Does stress cause cancer?
According to researchers, stress is not the ultimate cause of cancer. However, stress can make the body hospitable to cancer. It can speedily develop cancerous tumours in the body. 
Also, psychological stress can worsen the health of a cancer patient. It can make the cancer cells multiply in the body speedily.
According to some studies, stress can spread cancer to various body parts such as ovaries, breasts, and colorectum. It causes the release of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine. These transmitters stimulate cancer cells, which can cause death. 
Also, stress causes the growth of tumours, which can delay the recovery of cancer patients. High-stressed patients respond poorly to the treatment and recover late.

How to reduce stress in one’s life?

Stress is hazardous for health. Therefore, one should make efforts to get rid of the stress. To overcome anxiety, one needs to understand its cause and work on the solution. Here are a few measures to cope with stress:

  1. Exercise regularly: Exercise decreases the stress hormones in the body and increases the production of endorphins. It relaxes the body and helps relieve stress. Besides, breathing exercises and meditation also calm the mind and help overcome anxiety.
  2. Balance the diet: A healthy diet can help tame stress on the body. Avoid or control the intake of caffeine and sugar in the body. Excess of these two can cause anxiety and insomnia, leading to stress. 
  3. Play with children: Playing with children and indulging in fun activities makes one forget all the worries. It revives one’s, inner child. Spend time with kids, play, and enjoy with them. 
  4. seek mental counselling: Feel free to reach out to a medical expert or counsellor to help one overcome stress. Regular sessions will automatically bring positive changes in one’s life.

The benefits of reducing stress on the body and mind

Reducing stress in one’s life can decrease health problems such as anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, or diabetes. It can also bring positive changes in one’s life, such as:

  1. Better sleep: A relaxed and stress-free body implies good quality sleep. Practising stress management techniques and meditation before going to bed ensures uninterrupted sleep. 
  2. Healthy body: When a person eats mindfully, they eat the right amount and have a balanced diet. It contributes to good health and digestion. 
  3. Speedy recovery from any disease: One may observe faster recovery if undergoing treatment with a relaxed mind.
  4. Boosts immune system: Set a proper self-care routine and focus on mental well-being. It will not only keep one healthy but also boost the immune system.
  5. More involvement with family and friends: Family is a strength. When individuals are mentally free, they wish to spend time with friends and family. Having support from the family and discussing problems with loved ones lightens the heart and keeps one lively.


Stress is a part of life and goes away with proper solutions. However, chronic stress can be harmful. Avoiding stress can be challenging. But, one can manage to keep stress at bay by practising yoga and exercise. 
Some changes like a positive attitude towards life, laugh therapy, setting aside leisure time for oneself, and leading a healthy life can help overcome stress. 
For more information, visit the United We Care website.

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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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