Study shows chronic stress accelerates the spread of cancer

According to a new research study by researchers in Australia, chronic stress in individuals can accelerate the spread of cancer.

A team of researchers from Monash University said that the new study can change the way disease is treated. There were concerns that high level of stress may cause cancer and or accelerate its growth since several years but there was no evidence to prove it until the new research.The team found in the new research that chronic, persistent stress inmic resulted in physiological changes that cause cancer cells to spread faster into other parts of the body.

The team of researchers led by Dr Erica Sloan and Dr Caroline Le found that adrenaline can have adverse effect for animals and people with cancer. Experts said that adrenaline is a neurotransmitter triggered by stress to increase alertness and rapid reaction to threat  but it can work adversely for people affected by the disease as it can increase the number and size of lymphatic vessels in and around tumours. It can also increase the rate of fluid flow through these vessels. Both of these increases the capacity of lymphatic "highways" to carry and spread tumour cells throughout the body.

Dr Le said, "We found that chronic stress activates the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) - better known as the 'fight-or-flight' response - to profoundly impact lymphatic function and the spread of cancer cells. These findings demonstrate an instrumental role for stress ... and suggest that blocking the effects of stress to prevent cancer spread through lymphatic routes may provide a way to improve outcomes for patients with cancer."

The study was published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications.