Homeostasis and cancer

Does the stress caused by physical conditions can boost the proliferation of cancer cells?


  • That is such a vague question. So there's this idea that stress can cause cancer and I think that's bogus.. but, stress does change a lot in your body. For example, cortisol raises blood sugar. Other stress messengers cause your bp and hr to climb. Because stress affects so many different aspects of your body, it's likely having some impact. So, there's probably some ways in which stress affects certain cancers but it would be indirectly.
  • Stress does inhibit the immune system though, right? And the immune system is constantly destroying malfunctioning cells before they become cancer?

  • Eh I wouldn't put it all on the immune system, if IIRC cancer is usually invisible to the immune system. Which would make sense since cancer is really just your cells. In fact, there is cancer research into training your immune system into attacking cancer cells like this example because current treatments are... well not that great in some cases.

    Normally, the cells of the body will normally undergo apoptosis when something goes wrong. When cancer happens regular cells have something goes wrong (like a mutation that causes, oh I don't know, unchecked growth) and they don't die through the natural error checking mechanisms of the cell. To my knowledge, this is why cancer is so good at existing, it's really just you, but unchecked.

    I think the question should be, does stress cause changes to the body that make the environment more favorable for cancer proliferation. To that I would argue, not really, but I don't know of any evidence showing one way or the other so that would be pure opinion on the matter.

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