Stress Kills … Even in Prostate Cancer Patients

Stress has long been linked to a number of different health-related conditions that may prove fatal. From heart disease and stroke to the potential for promoting obesity through overeating, accumulations of perceived stress can take their toll on the body. As it turns out, those who experience a high degree of stress are also more likely to experience deadly complications should prostate cancer develop.

To find out more about a potential link between prostate cancer deaths and stress, researchers in Sweden conducted a study. A survey of some 4,105 men undergoing treatment for clinically localized prostate tumors resulted in some eye-opening findings. There doctors found that men with the highest level of perceived stress had about a 66 percent increase risk of mortality associated with prostate cancer. Researchers also noted that men with higher stress levels tended to have a higher frequency of grieving and were also suffering from sleep loss. They also had less developed support networks.

While the exact link between stress and prostate cancer mortality hasn’t been established, researchers say quality of life can play a role in beating the disease. The hope is to use the findings to develop more targeted interventions to improve patients’ quality of life as they battle the disease.

In the meantime, people who suffer from stress can take measures to reduce its impacts on their lives. Getting regular exercise, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and taking time out to enjoy non-work-related activities can all make a difference. So can spending time with family and friends and working to develop stronger, healthy relationships.

Prostate cancer strikes an estimated 220,000 American men each year. About 30,000 men die from the disease annually. Early detection and treatment can pave the way for successful outcomes. And, as it turns out, lowering stress may also help keep the potential of mortality at bay.

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