Here is some good news for people who work hard and who might worry about their stress levels because of it. A new study in the famous British Medical Journal has found no link between work stress and four types of cancer.
And those four would be the quite serious ones: colorectal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. We know that 90% of cancers are linked in some way to the environment, while other causes are less well known—like psychological factors such as stress.
Stress can cause chronic inflammation, which has been shown to have various roles in the development of cancer. Also, stressed individuals are more likely to smoke, drink heavily, and be obese. All of these up the risk of cancer.
Here, researchers looked at 12 previous studies comprising 116,000 people between 17 and 70 years old in a handful of European countries. They evaluated psychological stress at work based on job strain.
The results showed that 5,765 people were diagnosed with cancer in the 12 years of follow-up. That equates to five percent of the studies’ combined population. Researchers found no evidence of an association between job strain and overall cancer risk. They suggest that many of the previously reported associations may have been chance findings or influenced by possible unmeasured common causes of stress and cancer (like shift work).
So anyone who suffers from what they feel is job strain at work needn’t add to their stress levels by worrying about an increased cancer risk. That said, reducing stress wherever it occurs in your life will improve your well-being and quality of life.
But, when it comes to cancer, we need the truth. And in this case, the truth about cancer is not bad news.
Sources for Today’s Articles:
This “Workplace Hazard” Found to Not Be Linked to Cancer
“Work stress and risk of cancer: meta-analysis of 5700 incident cancer events in 116 000 European men and women,” BMJ 2013; 346; f165.