Cancer could be made worse if you're living an isolated life. Breast cancer tumour growth increases among those who live alone, and who rarely go out and socially mix with others.
Our social interaction could have a profound affect on a range of chronic diseases, and not just breast cancer, believe researchers. Isolation could also have a negative effect on other health problems such as obesity, type II diabetes and hypertension.
At the moment the association between community and illness has been witnessed only in studies of mice, but researchers from the University of Chicago believe it could equally apply to humans.
They discovered that mice that were isolated developed mammary gland tumours whereas those that were kept in groups remained cancer-free.
(Source: Cancer Prevention Research, 2009; September 29; doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-08-0238).