Q&A with Jane: Can emotional reasons trigger cancer?

A Reader Writes:

A conventional Chinese medical view claims that there are several possible contributing factors of cancer etiology. One of the principal causes is internal factors such as emotions and mental health. After observing some cancer patients, it seems most have suppression of emotions. They tend to hold in their negative emotions.

emotions trigger cancer

As a human, I have a severe phobia about cancer. Knowing that it is life-threatening and is occurring so commonly these days, there are a lot of suspicions. When someone is detected with it, their whole spirit breaks down. This kind of spiritual state may hamper the treatment. A research suggests that people with suppressive behaviors, who look composed but hold in a pan of painful emotions, are prone to develop this stigma.I had observed similar repressive emotions in my aunt who lost her battle with cancer last year. As a person, even I tend to get a little suppressive at times. I sometimes hold grudges for a long period of time. Sometimes I try hard to change my personality and become a more mentally stable person after learning about these disturbing researches.

I had observed similar repressive emotions in my aunt who lost her battle with cancer last year. As a person, even I tend to get a little suppressive at times. I sometimes hold grudges for a long period of time. Sometimes I try hard to change my personality and become a more mentally stable person after learning about these disturbing researches.

Bottled-up negative feelings, such as anger, pain, grief, etc. can increase a person’s level of the stress hormones namely cortisol. This will ultimately suppress the immune system. The health of the immune system is crucial in fighting cancer.

Can so many emotionally related factors really trigger cancer?

Answer:

Cancer undeniably has emotional roots. There is a load of evidence suggesting that suppressed emotions play a critical role in the growth of cancer. Increased stress hormones caused by emotional triggers overwhelm the immune system, which can lead to diseases.

Moreover, many studies have also shown that stressful life events, from the death of a loved one to a financial crunch, are linked to an increase in certain health problems. Many people assume that stress leads to cancer as well.

An expert panel was organized by the Institute of Medicine to look at what is known about emotions and physical consequences.This panel of experts revised all available studies to determine whether emotions increased a person's susceptibility to diseases. However, for particularly death from cancer, the overall evidence was less convincing. The question remains again of whether or not emotions can impact the immune system enough to cause this type of illness.

Moreover, western scientists have adopted a completely different ideology from the Chinese etiology. They regard cancer as an alteration in DNA that is induced by chemicals, radiation exposure, or insertion of viral genes. In addition, a variety of physiological factors also contributes to the growth of cancer. These may include a poor diet, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, toxic habits and a lot more.

Henceforth, despite all the findings it can be said that just suppressing negative emotions may not be the sole cause of developing cancer. A combination of both psychological and physiological lead to the final verdict.

However, though not necessarily precise, it can be claimed that emotional harm will affect the physiological functions of the immune system and lower the body resistance, resulting in disease. The human body is vulnerable to cancer when under emotional stress.

The best thing to do here would be to adopt a healthy lifestyle not just physically but emotionally too.

Yoga and meditation help to deal with negative emotions in a very heterogeneous way and can aid tremendous positive mental health benefits. If as a personality type you tend to repress emotions and feelings try indulging in good cardio exercises. Playing a sport is also one of the best proven scientific ways to release bottled-up emotions. Kick-boxing and martial arts are few best examples. A mere act of playing games and indulging in creative activities like pottery will also help release sticky feelings.

This is just running over the surface. The physiological aspects such as keeping a good diet and taking enough sleep need to go hand in hand. Everything needs to be sustained for a lifetime and not taken as a one-year fad. In addition to the above is the high-risk trait of procrastination. Always refer to a doctor when face any relevant symptoms. For example, if you ignore warnings about smoking or continue to engage in other risky health behaviors, you increase your risk of cancer.

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