Stress Linked to Cancer

stressScientists have discovered that everyday emotional stress is a trigger for the growth of tumors. Any sort of trauma, emotional or physical, can act as a "pathway" between cancerous mutations, bringing them together in a potentially deadly mix.

The findings seem to show for the first time that the conditions for developing the disease can be affected by your emotional environment, including everyday work and family stress.

Until now, scientists believed more than one cancer-causing mutation needed to take place in a single cell in order for tumors to grow.

But researchers showed that mutations can promote cancer even when they are located in different cells, because stress opens up "pathways" between them.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

I have long believed that emotional factors are one of the most important contributing factors for all diseases, especially cancer.

That is why an effective strategy to manage your emotional stress has long been a part of my 12 top cancer-prevention tools, and this is because there is overwhelming evidence that your mind does matter when it comes to preventing, or triggering, disease.

The idea that your emotions impact your health and the development of disease is not new. Even the conservative Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that 85 percent of all diseases appear to have an emotional element, but the actual percentage is likely to be even higher.

Dr. Hamer’s research, which spans across the last three decades, has produced scientific proof indicating that your current health status is due to your mental and emotional reactions to events that take place during your lifetime.

Bruce Lipton’s “New Biology” is another school of scientific thought that adds to this “new” way of thinking about disease, namely that your emotions can trigger your genes to either express health or disease.

Stress Has Been a Known Cause of Cancer Since 1908

I recently finished a fascinating interview with Donald (“Donnie”) Yance, an internationally known herbalist and nutritionist. During our talk he shared this phenomenal piece of information with me: stress was pinned down as a cause of cancer all the way back in 1908! As Donnie said:

“Eli Jones, the great eclectic physician in cancer, and probably the most brilliant person that ever lived on the face of the planet -- I rarely talk without mentioning his name -- wrote a book in 1908 called Cancer - Its Causes, Symptoms and Treatment.

There isn’t one inaccuracy I can find in that book, written more than a hundred years ago.”

In this book, Dr. Jones revealed his top causes of cancer … and the number one cause he listed was stress.

How Does Stress Cause Cancer?

Emotional stress likely triggers cancer in a multi-faceted way.

For instance, the study by Yale University researchers listed above found that stress, even the “normal” everyday variety, can act as a pathway between cancerous mutations, potentially triggering the growth of tumors.

The National Cancer Institute, meanwhile, has said that research with animal models suggests that “your body’s neuroendocrine response (release of hormones into your blood in response to stimulation of your nervous system) can directly alter important processes in cells that help protect against the formation of cancer, such as DNA repair and the regulation of cell growth.”

Still other research has shown that norepinephrine, a hormone produced during periods of stress, may increase the growth rate of cancer.

Norepinephrine can stimulate tumor cells to produce two compounds (matrix metalloproteinases called MMP-2 and MMP-9) that break down the tissue around the tumor cells and allow the cells to more easily move into your bloodstream.

Once there, they can travel to other organs and tissues and form additional tumors, a process called metastasis.

Norepinephrine may also stimulate the tumor cells to release a chemical (vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF) that can aid in the growth of the blood vessels that feed cancer cells. This can increase the growth and spread of the cancer.

The stress hormone epinephrine has also been found to cause changes in prostate and breast cancer cells in ways that may make them resistant to cell death. This means that emotional stress could both contribute to the development of cancer and reduce the effectiveness of treatments.

Nourishing Your Emotional Health is an Important Cancer Prevention Strategy

If your emotions play such a significant role in your health, and I’m convinced they do, treating your emotions becomes an essential part of optimal health.

But how?

Learning how to use tools such as the Meridian Tapping Technique (MTT), for example, which works on several levels of your collective mind-body-spirit simultaneously, can help you get a better handle on your emotions and buried pain.

Optimal health involves addressing and resolving your emotional traumas as quickly as possible; without letting old emotional wounds contribute to disease.

So in addition to using MTT as your primary stress resolution tool, you may also want to engage in regular exercise to normalized your insulin level, yoga, journaling, breathing techniques and other tools to put your mind at ease.

There are other important cancer-prevention strategies as well, such as optimizing your vitamin D levels and eating fewer processed foods and sugars, and I’ve detailed my complete anti-cancer lifestyle suggestions here.

But it is likely that your emotional health may be a more important factor than all the other physical ones listed there, so make sure this is addressed -- and do so sooner, rather than later -- for the sake of your future health.