Psychological stress is a normal part of life, and moderate amounts can even help you perform better by improving focus and motivation. But stress can reach unmanageable levels when a person feels a lack of control over their life. How does extended stress affect cancer patients?
Physical Effects of Stress
At present, a direct link between stress and the development of cancer is weak at best. However, it can be an indirect cause due to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as smoking or drinking that carry an increased risk of cancer.
More significantly, chronic stress can weaken the immune system, thereby giving cancer a greater chance to gain a foothold. Studies on mice carrying human tumors have shown that the cancer was more likely to grow and metastasize when the mice were subjected to stressful conditions.
Stress Relief Methods
Stress-related depression and anxiety can seriously affect a cancer patient’s quality of life and even cause them to forgo treatment. Having a strong support system is an effective means of combating harmful stress.
Other techniques to release stress include:
- Counseling and therapy, both individual and group
- Cancer education sessions
- Meditation and relaxation training, such as yoga
- Exercise and physical activity
- Medication to treat depression and anxiety
Immunotherapy for Cancer: Defense against the Effects of Stress
Stress is one of the lifestyle and environmental factors that make each cancer patient’s case unique. At Issels®, our individually tailored immunotherapy for cancer treatments boost the immune system’s ability to fight tumors naturally. Contact us to learn more about our state-of-the-art protocols such as cancer vaccines and hyperthermia.