0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
I was having a conversation with my wife yesterday about the husband of a friend who suffers from stress.Whenever something goes awry, this chap gets highly stressed and wired.As a result he gets psoriasis for which he takes medication.
An elderly person I know has been under a lot of stress for a few months. She is living in an environment she doesn't want to be in and is unhappy about it. Plus there are other things putting stress on her.Yesterday she was taken into hospital and the doctors suspect a tumour or cancer. They don't hold out much hope of her lasting past the weekend.Although she has been frail for quite some time and suffers from dementia, she was pretty happy with things until everything changed just before Christmas when she went to live somewhere else. Since then she has gone downhill and now this.I know stress can cause lots of illnesses (or, at least, cause latent illnesses to manifest), but can it cause cancer?
Hi Dr. Beaver,in my limited personal opinion, the answer could be:Yes, in certain circumstances, stress itself may contribute to cause cancer.As anybody can imagine, this is almost impossible to demonstrate scientifically.We are left with our personal memories of patients and sad human case histories in which a cancer diagnosis had been only the last awful thing in a terribly hopeless lifetime.As you probably already know, I am fascinated by the infection-cancer connections, so I'd like to post here an old experiment concerning the stress-infection connection instead. Unfortunately I cannot find anymore that scientific report or even the reference, but it should somewhere in the wwweb!I'll try to squeeze my memory in spite of a galloping senile dementia (bad type: vitamin D and cod liver oil resistant!).It was called: "Learned Helplessness Experiment"A model of environmental stress was set up for guinea pigs (or rats?) in special cages:1) Control cases were living peacefully in 2 communicating cages.2) 'Stressed' cases had learned to escape to the communicating cage when a light had been switched on, because an electric shock would have been delivered in the first cage-floor in seconds after the light.3) 'Stressed without hope' cases had no chance of running away to the communicating cage when a light had been switched on, because they would have suffered a bad electric shock anyway, even in the second cage.Immune profiles were studied by special tests available in those days:Stressed animals had some immune impairment, compared to normal controls, still compatible with a sufficient immune response to infectious stimuli.'Stressed without hope' animals showed an immune defence totally knocked down: no 'killer cells', no antibody production, no phagocytosis.A picture of paralysis of the immune system incompatible with individual survival.ikoD