Every day presents new challenges. A relationship, job or setback can all result in stress. This affects the body in several ways, and scientists are discovering more and more links between chronic stress and cancer. Below is a helpful guide, including ways you can start reducing stress in your life.

Can Chronic Stress Cause Cancer?

The Connection

Chronic stress is considered any stress resulting from repeated processes, such as school or a challenging job. It’s known to contribute to depression, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and many other health complications. 

It’s thought that the hormone epinephrine supports cancer stem cells. In mouse models, subjects exposed to chronic stress grew larger cancerous tumors faster. They also had a larger number of these cells than mice that were not exposed to stress.

How to Reduce Stress

cancerFirst, identify what is causing your stress. You can then either manage these or eliminate them from your life. Schedule couples therapy if you have a stressful relationship, for example. If driving to work in the morning gives you anxiety, take the bus. Consider rehoming a rowdy pet, or ask your boss for help with a stressful project.

Exercise is a powerful tool for fighting stress. Try taking a long walk on your lunch break or hitting the gym after a long day at the office. Aerobic exercises like jogging and swimming release endorphins, which are natural “happy” hormones.

Consider mindfulness practices as well. Yoga, tai chi, and similar programs help you exercise and learn how to control your breath. Learning to breathe during stressful situations may calm you down, and you’ll have a better understanding of what is stressing you out. You may want to take this a step further by seeing a therapist to discuss your feelings and learn stress-relieving tools.


Contact Integrative Medicine of New York, PLLC if you or a loved one is already battling cancer. This medical center in Garden City, NY, uses integrative medicine to treat AIDs, autoimmune diseases, COPD and many other health issues. You can learn more about cancer treatment on their website or call (516) 759-4200 to schedule a consultation.