Study: High Stress Linked to Aggressive Breast Cancer

Researchers find highly stressed women more likely to have aggressive cancer.

By Lesley Kennedy • Reporter

Send the kids out to dinner with the hubs. Draw yourself a nice hot bath full of frothy bubbles, dim the lights, turn on a little soft jazz, have a soak and relaaaxxx. Seriously. You’ve got to de-stress. Your breasts will thank you for it.

The Los Angeles Times reports a new study out of the University of Illinois at Chicago finds women who suffer from “psychosocial” stresses—think fear, anxiety and isolation—had a 38 percent higher chance of being diagnosed with an aggressive type of breast cancer.

Additionally, women who were the most stressed out had an 18 percent greater chance of suffering from high-grade tumors, according to the newspaper.

There is, however, one chink in the study’s armor, the Times points out: Were the women studied stressed out before they were diagnosed with breast cancer or because of the diagnosis?

“It may be that both of these are playing a role in the association,” Garth Rauscher, lead researcher, tells the newspaper in a statement. “We don’t know the answer to that question.”

Whatever the answer, in our view, there’s simply no question we should all figure out a few new ways to chill out.

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First Published September 20, 2011

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