Is stress and breast cancer linked?

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Is stress and breast cancer linked?

According to a study conducted in Sweden, women who remain under constant stress can double their risk of having breast cancer.

The study was conducted on 1400 women. All the participants were examined properly at the beginning of the study. Then they were made to fill a health questionnaire, which included a question asking them whether in the last 5 years they had at anytime experienced feelings of stress (such as tension, fear, anxiety or sleep disturbances due to family or work problems) lasting for a month or more. Thereafter, regular follow-up examinations were done for next 24 years to find out whether any link existed between increased breast cancer risk and earlier stress.

The researchers observed that women who had been under stress were two times more at risk of developing breast cancer as compared to women who managed to stay cool, calm and composed. This twofold risk remained even after considering other risk factors for breast cancer such as family history, smoking, drinking alcohol, body weight and factors related to reproduction such as age when the women first started menstruating, or had her first baby or had her menopause.

Although this study shows a link between stress and breast cancer researchers feel that the study is too small and some more research needs to be done in this direction to substantiate this study.

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