Why stress is deadly for cancer
In today’s fast paced world, stress has become a part of everyone’s life. Excessive stress leads to cardiovascular problems, depression, weight changes and other chronic illnesses. Stress and cancer has a close relationship that most cancer patients are unaware of.
Low levels of stress are nothing to worry about but high levels of stress for a long period of time (chronic) is dangerous to your health. “People are often not focused on treating the stress induced depression directly, but on coping with cancer,” says Meng Chen, Ph.D., an instructor in MD Anderson’s Department of Epidemiology. “This additional stress increases mortality.”
During cancer treatment, the tests, medications, are themselves physically and emotionally traumatizing. This increases the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline in patients and that further weakens the immune system.
Research has verified that stress has a close connection with the clinical outcomes of treatment and therefore it is advisable to reduce stress levels in patients.
Stress and coping strategies of patients with cancer
Acupunture is an ancient healing therapy where pressure is applied by placement of solid, sterile, stainless steel needles into various points on the body which reduces stress, and alleviates the symptoms of depression and nausea.
Having a positive mindset is essential as negative thoughts can directly affect the speed of recovery from cancer. Talking to counsellors would be an ideal option to reduce emotional stress.
Meditation and breathing
Meditation, yoga, pranayama, breathing exercises help relax your parasympathetic nervous system and calms you from within.
Massage therapy reduces the side-effects of cancer treatment like nausea, fatigue, vomiting but it should always be undertaken by a certified massage therapist.
Massage therapy also stimulates the lymphatic system and can reduce stress and anxiety considerably.
Creating a support group, listening to music, talking to your loved ones and exercising, are some of the other means to alleviate stress levels. It’s not hard to calm your mind, engage in anything that makes you feel in peace mentally.
Finding ways to manage your stress will help you enhance the quality of life and reduce illness.