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How Stress May Cause Cancer.

lp1964's picture
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013
Sep 11, 2013 - 10:35 am

Obviously there are many causes for cancer: genetic, environmental, nutritional etc. 

But let's concentrate on stress here. I believe the way normal cells turn into cancerous cells is that there is a change in their genetic material, the DNA. Now this happens millions of times a day as normal cells divide. There is nothing we can do about this, it's random mutation, but thanks god the immun system takes care of these mutant cancer cells. 

Now, this demage to the DNA can be caused by so called free radicals and this is where stress comes in. Free radicals are tiny, very reactive molecules that demage everything in their way: proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and DNA.

The way stress increases the production of these free radicals is contracting and contstricting the tiny capillaries at the cellular level, so the cells can't get enough oxygen and nutrients to function normally, so they produce a lot of waste and "poisons" called free radicals. These radicals cause mutations and mutations can become cancerous.

Also bacause of the constricted arterioles the immun cell themselves cannot get to the cancer cells to destroy them. Stress trough cortisol increase also decreases the immun response.

The way antioxidants work that they catch free radicals like nets. People try to eat well, take vitamins and supplements and even if these get absorbed and you have them in your blood at an optimal level, but if stress constricts the capillaries they cannot get into your cells and your cells are basically starving, producing all those free radicals. This is the reason that if people are stressed and take all these vitamins and supplements they don't have the desired effect, because they can not get into the cells where they are supposed to help.

In my personal situation I was exposed to a lot of stress: abusive family and school system, communist suppression and fear, bad marriage, stressful work and I always internalized stressed. Didn't express it and manage it, avoided conflicts. I believe that this played a big roll in my illness.

What do you think?


John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007


It should make you wonder how every soul that survived the Holocaust, every soul that survived Hiroshima, or Iraq, or the North/South Korea wars, or the Bubonic plague….or any other major disaster, managed to survive the extreme stress without succumbing to cancer……….


It’s just my opinion, but I think we spend too much time trying to access blame, when we should be spending time investigating remedies.


Best hopes for best health,





lp1964's picture
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013

Just like the other factors, stress only increases the chance for cancer. Not everybody who smokes gets lung cancer. Not everybody who gets exposed to a lot of sunshine gets skin cancer. Even if you have the genetic disposition may not get that cancer. Not everyone who is stressed gets cancer either. It's just increases the chance. 

Finding medications and remedies is very important of course. But prevention is just as much important if not more. And if you want to find remedies or preventative measures, you have to know the cause. Until we discovered that infections were caused by bacteria, we could not use antibiotics or preventative measures (washing our hands with chlorine) effectively.


Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6694
Joined: Feb 2009

Got to agree with John on this one because some people have stress everyday of their life if they have a stressful job and never get cancer.  I've asked my doctors what caused mine and they said it wasn't anything that I'd done wrong in my diet.  Sometimes people can be so absored by trying to alter their life for a change that might not be the reason for in the first place.  I'm just saying, don't stress about trying to figure it all out because if there really was a prominent factor like doing this or not doing that (besides hereditary issues) we would have all had the answers long ago.  My ex boss always screamed at the top of his lungs every day (just like Chef Gordon Ramsey) and he's never had cancer and he is over 70 now.  You just never know. 


Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

I don't know...seems there is no rhyme or reason to cancer in most cases. I really think if it was stress related or diet related we'd see more spouses both with cancer. My husband and I have been eating the same foods, breathing the same air, sharing many of the same stressors for the last 20+ yrs. I also don't think a positive attitude has much to do with survival. I think we would have lost way less people if a good attitude and will to live had anything to do with it.

But Laz! Isn't tomorrow your BIG day? Stop thinking about cancer and enjoy your day. I hope you have great weather, a beautiful wedding day and a long happy life together! Any honeymoon plans?

joemetz's picture
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

if you read enough or search enough... you'll find that everything causes cancer.

just stay away from believing that if you would have done something different... if you would have eaten differently, if you would not have drank that, if you would have done this or that... you wouldn't have cancer.

Cancer is NOT your fault. 

Don't try to assess the blame to yourself or something you did or something you didn't do.  we all go throught that, but it's part of getting through this crap. Part of accepting the fact that you are now a cancer-fighter.  With each month that passes, you gain more wisdom and insight on this battle.  You continue to search and share your ideas and thoughts.  It's a good release for you to do so.

Not everyone will agree, and that's okay... you're 3-4 months into this battle. Keep fighting, keep doing what you believe will be best for YOU on your roadway to either beating this monster or just keeping this monster in control.  But, never forget... this is NOT your fault.

Don't ever kick yourself for the past. 

But, I do admit... that my stress level is at a 30 year low. I have accepted that this cancer... it sucks. But it has changed me, my family and those around me.  And, lately, I must say... life is great and this cancer crap has pushed me to eliminate stress as I believe cancer grows unders stressful situations.

But I also believe that Laughing, Huging and Loving others is my way to enjoy ever damn day I have.  

Keep posting, keep searching and keep learning... but start laughing more, loving more and living more.  One thing is for sure, our life line has been shortened. This cancer will shorten our life expectancy... but its our decision as to what we are going to do with each and ever day we are given.

Enjoy the ride and enjoy everyone around you. 

live laugh love bro!



lp1964's picture
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013

I agree with everything you say. But at the same time if we want to find a cure for this illness, we need to know what increases the chance and how.


lp1964's picture
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013

You sound so good. I hope you feel as good as you sound. This is what I like about comradery we have here. A few weeks back you were really down and some good folks lifted you up. That is what I get when I'm down too. I'll have surgery in the next 3 weeks and I'm getting really scared. But with the help of my friends here, at home, the professionals and some powerful spirit activity we will get through it somehow, right?


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