Stress and Cancer

If there is a single word that can strike terror in most people’s hearts, it is probably ‘Cancer’.We generally view cancer as the most sinister, tragic, loathsome, and unbearable of diseases.In reality, cancer is actually a collection of over 100 closely related diseases that vary in their characteristics and amenability to treatment.

Cancer refers to malignant cell growth, which may occur in many organ systems in the body.

The onset of cancer frequently sets off a chain reaction of stressful events.Patients typically have grapple with fear of unknown, difficult and averse treatment regimens, nausea, fatigue , and other treatment side effects, dislocations in intimate relationships, career disruptions, job discrimination, and financial worries.Such stress may often contribute to the progress of the disease, perhaps by impairing certain aspects of immune system functioning.

Lets look at one type of cancer called Hodgkins Lymphoma:

1. An extremely rare type of cancer

2.Discovered by Britishh Doctor Thomas Hodgkin in 1832

3.Use of radiotheraphy in 1930s was the first breakthrough in the HL treatment.

4. MOPP (Mustargen, vincristine (oxygen), procarbazine & prednisone) was successful but had long -term health consequences such as sterility & secondary cancers.

5. In 1990s- MOPP was replaced by a less toxic and effective regimen of ABVD (Adriamycin, blemycin, vinblastine & decarbazine)used today.

Having normal blood pressure (BP), good cholesterol, weight control & exercise are important goals for HL survivors.

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