Stress and Cancer


Epigenetics is the buzz word in medicine these days. So what is epigenetics and how does it interact with stress?  Epigenetics says that genes can be turned on or off by the environment that we live in, work in, or the environment that we create for ourselves – mentally or physically. For instance, we all have genes that can cause cancer but it is only when we have an environment that turns on these cancer genes,  that cancer will appear. The good news is that genes that can be

Our cells never forget stress

‘turned on’ by our environment can also be ‘turned off’  by changing the environment as well.   

Science has proven one thing, and that is ‘long term stress increases the chances of turning on cancer genes.’ I know a young lady whose life is made up of one stressful event after another. Her life makes a reality TV soap opera look tame in comparison. It’s not surprising that she has skin cancers cut out at least three times a year. The stress in her life is turning on genes that cause skin cancer.

All types of ‘excesses’ result in negative stress.  Examples are ‘smoking’, drinking alcohol, over-eating, to name a few.
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol coupled with little exercise increases your chances of turning on cancer genes even more. Unfortunately it is shown that people suffering from stress often do not exercise at all. All their energy is consumed with handling stress.

How does this work?

Imagine finding a ‘goldfish’ swimming around in a muddy puddle! the water is dirty, it is stagnant, very little if any food!  The ‘goldfish’ is almost dead.    You scoop out the fish, take it home, and put it into a nice fishbowl, clean water, life-giving plants, food, and the perfect temperature.  Within hours the fish is happily swimming around.  Perky.  Healthy.  Happy.
But what happens if you take the fish and put it back into the ‘muddy pool?’   Within hours the fish is back to ‘nearly dead’ again.

Our Environment

This is what happens to ‘us!’   Our environment, both mental and physical is either supporting us or killing us.

It makes sense to create an environment that does not turn on cancer genes. It makes sense to seek help with reducing stress. I would recommend things like hypnosis, acupuncture, yoga, mindfulness, etc.  Leave medication as a last resort as long term use may create an environment that turns on cancer genes.

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