Stress affects cancer risk

Stress affects cancer risk

Stress affects cancer risk because your immune system functions differently when you are under stress. When you sense a threat (even one that is imaginary), your body gets ready to defend itself. Your heart races, blood pressure builds, and muscles tense to prepare for swift, powerful action. In primitive times, these changes helped our ancestor deal with dangerous situations such as sudden storms, falling trees, or physical attacks. In the stresses we fact nowadays, these responses are often not appropriate. you don't need tight muscles and a rapid heart rate when you resolve a business dispute, face a conflict at home, or deal with a traffic jam. but old habits are hard to break. With modern-day stress, mental clarity, good communication skills, and a sense of humor are likely to be of much greater value. When you are stressed, your programmed physical response is to temporarily disable your immune system and get ready for fight or flight. You turn off your inner surveillance and prepare to defend yourself in a different way, from the danger outside your body. The brain signals the adrenal glands to produce hormones (such as cortisol) that inhibit the immune system. These hormones are like synthetic corticosteroid drugs. Corticosteroids are so good at suppressing the immune system that they are used to disable the immune system’s response to allergic conditions, skin grafts, and organ transplants. Thus, having large amounts of stress-related hormones in your system means you have let down your guard against cancer. Constant stress can make it easier for cancer to spread.

Healthy Eating for Life to Prevent and Treat Cancer, Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine.

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