Does stress affect the risk of cancer?

The Molecular Biologist

A little bit of stress is good for us – it makes us alert for the situations that require our attention. But being stressed all the time is worse for you than you think.

Everyday stress is a trigger for tumour growth. Or, is this just another controversial cancer claim?

What is stress?

In medical terms, stress is a response to any physical, mental or emotional stimuli. Emotional stress will be focused on here.

The way the body responds to stress is by releasing chemicals that cause an increase in blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar levels. Not all stress is bad. Biologically, it prepares our body for the fight-or-flight response, and then it should return back to a natural state. We experience this just before a presentation, interview or while riding a roller-coaster. It lasts for a short period and is called short-term or acute stress.

But long-term or chronic…

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