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April 11, 2007

Study: 'Stress Causes Cancer Cells To Resist Treatment'

Topics: Medical Science News

displayImage.aspx.jpgBack on March 22nd when John and Elizabeth Edward's announced that Elizabeth's cancer has returned, I said that fighting cancer is not easy, and while having something to help keep one occupied on other than one's battle for life can be helpful, I find it hard to believe that going through a presidential campaign will do anything but make a tough battle for life - tougher - that stress in cancer is a killer. Now scientists from Wake Forest University School of Medicine make that fact all the more clear, and say that findings from their study suggest that emotional stress may not only contribute to the development of cancer but may also reduce the effectiveness of cancer treatments. In other words, stress directly changes cancer cells:

Although several researchers have investigated the link between cancer and stress, this is the first time that a study has shown that stress directly changes cancer cells, according to researcher Dr George Kulik.

Levels of epinephrine, which is produced by the adrenal glands, are sharply increased in response to stressful situations and can remain continuously elevated during persistent stress and depression, according to previous research. Now, the researchers have found a direct link between these stress hormones and changes in cancer cells: a protein called BAD - which causes cell death - becomes inactive when cancer cells are exposed to epinephrine.

Kulik said the findings have several implications for patients and for researchers.

More here ...

Readers interested in knowing more about dealing with the emotional effects of cancer might find the information at this site helpful.

Cross posted from Hyscience

Posted by Richard at April 11, 2007 3:09 PM

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