Doctors look at potential link between stress, breast cancer

DETROIT – Doctors have been looking at how stress may affect breast cancer.

Amelia Pullium has been trying to reduce stress since a cancer diagnosis stunned her.

“There’s no history in my family. It’s not genetic. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. I have an active lifestyle, and yet I got this,” she said.

Dr. Zenia Nahleh, an oncologist with the Cleveland Clinic Florida, said doctors have been considering possible links between stress and cancer for years.

“Whether there is a relationship, and if so, what is is the driver behind it and what is the cause and how does stress affect cancer cells?” Nahleh said.

Nahleh said that cancer cells may have some receptors that communicate with stress hormones. When that relationship is blocked, cancer cells may decrease over time.

The research is still new, but it is providing a greater understanding about cancer development.

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