Study finds stress can cause highways for cancer to spread

Stress could potentially open up “highways” for cancer around the body, letting tumours spread more easily, according to a study.

Mice who had had a lot of stressful experiences saw growth in their lymphatic system, which increased the risk of cancer spreading throughout their body.

Unfortunately, the researchers fear that the same mechanic may be seen in people who have developed cancer. If they are under a lot of stress, they, too, may see the development of these pathways in the lymphatic system, and the cancerous cells may spread around the body.

“We found that chronic stress signals the sympathetic nervous system, better known as the ‘fight or flight‘ response, to profoundly impact lymphatic function and the spread of cancer cells,” so said Caroline Le from the Monash institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Monash University, Australia.

The study reported no evidence as to whether this effect would be seen in humans, but it is a cause for concern, and again reinforces the need for people to look after their mental wellbeing, and the effects that it can have on health.

Meditation, mindfulness, and other stress management techniques can help those in recovery, not only to keep their minds sharp and their morale up, but also, it would seem, to help them recover physiologically as well.

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