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Stress and Breast Cancer


Your cell phone is broken, your child has the flu, and you received a negative review from your supervisor. Stress seems to be a constant part of a women’s life. However, can stress harm your body? New research indicates that women who frequently suffer from stress are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.1 Researchers believe that episodes of stress can lead to changes in hormone levels and a decline in the body’s immune system. Hormones, like oestrogen, are widely recognized by healthcare professionals as a contributing cause of breast cancer. 1 Stress is more than just a nuisance, as it can have dramatic implications to your health.

Accept that your Stress is a Problem

There are issues that women have to overcome on a daily basis that make life challenging. However, when something causes stress it’s worth taking note. The common symptoms of stress are sleepiness, anxiety, teeth grinding, gastrointestinal discomfort, and constant worrying. If you recognize one or more of these signs, it can mean that you’re dealing with stress. When stress becomes a daily part of your life, it needs to be acknowledged as a health problem that must to be addressed.

Identify Causes

Determining the causes of stress in your life is important to reducing it. As you age, the sources of stress will change. In your 20s and 30s, dating may have been source of stress, but it’s not likely to be relevant in your 40s and 50s. Rather, you’re more likely concerned about your health and your family’s health. When a friend or family member is fighting cancer, it may be hard for you to shake the constant thoughts in your mind that you may have to confront the disease. For women who are 40 and over, breast cancer becomes a real concern.  Writing down your thoughts on a notepad is an easy way to identify your sources of stress.

Seek Remedies

Once you’ve figured out what causes stress in your life, you need to take action to eliminate it. There are issues in life that you can’t resolve immediately, but look for things that you change within a few weeks to reduce stress. This could mean that you need to consistently schedule your required annual health tests, like breast exams, in order to be confident that they’re healthy. If work is negatively impacting your life, you may need to switch jobs to one that is less demanding.  Determining your non-essential responsibilities and then eliminating them is also a direct way to reduce stress.  Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your support network.

Stress is more than just a minor nuisance. It’s a legitimate health concern that every women should seek to reduce. There are difficult issues in our lives that lead to stress, and they can’t be fixed quickly. It’s important to recognize the affect they have on our bodies as a result of stress. Reducing stress is essential to our health and must not be ignored.  Outline what steps will work for you to reduce it and then implement them into your daily life.

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Hi there, I’m Janice Salmon, chief visionary at OC Breast Wellness. We believe in empowering women with knowledge to make smarter, healthier choices in their lives.

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