Stress and cancer
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Department of Environmental Medicine and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
High School of Strategic Planning, Dąbrowa Górnicza, Poland
Corresponding author
Jadwiga Jolanta Jośko - Ochojska   

Katedra i Zakład Medycyny i Epidemiologii Środowiskowej, Wydział Nauk Medycznych, Śląski Uniwersytet Medyczny w Katowicach, ul. Jordana 19, 41-808 Zabrze, Polska
Ann. Acad. Med. Siles. 2020;74:166-180
Scientific research has shown that during stress, the secretion of hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain, etc. is definitely stronger and longer lasting when persons are convinced that they cannot cope with the requirements of a stressful situation, i.e. they are in a state of uncontrolled stress. The main indicator of this condition is a long-term increase in the concentration of stress hormones in the blood. The higher the catecholamine concentration, the more DNA damage, the more cells undergoing tumour transformation, the larger the tumour and the more advanced the disease. Catecholamines also narrow blood vessels, which leads to an increase in VEGF expression, responsible for an increase in angiogenesis, and hence tumour growth and tumour metastasis. Cortisol contributes to inhibition of the immune system and changes in the central nervous system. Under uncontrolled stress, telomeres are shortened, which is another reason for shortening life expectancy. It has also been proven that stress and trauma are inherited in subsequent generations in the mechanism of epigenetic inheritance. Despite epigenetic predispositions to develop various malignancies, including ovarian, stomach and colorectal cancer, people can move from uncontrolled to controlled stress in a particular situation, even though the situation itself does not change. This is a breakthrough message. During cancer, the transition to controlled stress definitely supports therapy, increasing your chances of survival or even recovery. The most common condition for taking control of stress is to change your current lifestyle.
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