Anxious Mice Face Higher Cancer Risk
Anxious mice getِ more seriousِ cancer thanِ their calmer counterparts, according toِ a newِ study thatِ couldِ have implications forِ human cancer treatments.
The culprit mayِ beِ the damage stress doesِ to theِ immune system, whichِ canِ sometimes fight offِ these types ofِ cancers.
It’s bad enoughِ that cancer diagnosis andِ treatment generates stress andِ anxiety, butِ this study shows thatِ anxiety andِ stress canِ accelerate cancer progression, thusِ perpetuating a vicious cycle, study researcher Firdaus Dhabhar, a psychiatrist atِ the Stanford University School ofِ Medicine, saidِ inِ a statement.
Stress and the immune system
Dhabhar hasِ long focused onِ the role ofِ stress inِ the immune system.
11 Tips toِ Ease Stress] Stress affects everyoneِ differently, soِ Dhabhar turned toِ mice toِ investigate howِ individual differences inِ stress response mightِ influence theِ immune system.
First, theِ researchers tested theِ mice inِ a couple ofِ scary scenarios, including anِ enclosure thatِ was half-lighted, halfِ in darkness.
Easing stress to treat cancer?
As theِ mice developed skin cancer overِ the nextِ fewِ months, Dhabhar andِ his colleagues tracked theِ progression ofِ their tumors.
They foundِ that theِ high-anxiety mice developed moreِ skin tumors.
Compared withِ theirِ low-anxiety brethren, high-anxiety mice alsoِ had fewerِ immune cells inِ the bloodstream capable ofِ infiltrating andِ destroying cancer cells.