Breast cancer more aggressive in women who are stressed
Breast cancer spreads more aggressively in women who are stressed. Fear, anxiety and isolation all play a part in determining just how quickly the tumour grows, researchers have discovered.
Researchers from the University of Illinois discovered the association between stress and aggressive tumour growth when they carried out a psychological profile on 989 women who had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.
The researchers are puzzled by the association, however, and can’t explain how stress interacts with tumour growth. They’re also not sure what came first: are the women more stressed because they have cancer, or did their stress bring on the cancer in the first place?
(Source: American Association for Cancer Research conference, September 19, 2011).