Heard the one about the man with a long term happy marriage and successful career who left his wife for the office harpy? Eight years later he was dead, ravaged by chronic illness-but why? Was it guilt at what he’d done, gnawing away at his immune system? Or the one who ran into financial difficulties who then worked his fingers to the bone in high stress jobs to save his wife and family, and succeeded-only to be stricken by cancer? That’s as sad as it gets. Or even the fool who loses his business, the family home and his children’s future, who then develops a wasting disease like Multiple Sclerosis-again, is it guilt, or what? We all know stories like this, and doubtless many of you can tell others.
So what is the link between stress, cancer and other illnesses? We think there is a lot of stress coming to a lot of people in the next few months and years, largely due to the coronavirus crisis in the economy. So-can it kill you? If so how? What are its causes, and are some people more vulnerable to stress than others? Is it in our genes, or our life experiences? Or are you just living too close to a long forgotten lump of lead? Over the next few weeks we shall be returning to this theme, looking at learned articles and trying to find the best scientific answers to the questions above. But above all, we want YOU, gentle readers to help. What are your experiences, anecdotes and discoveries? Who do you trust to give the best answers? Contact us please, and let’s make this a joint enterprise.
To get you started we have reproduced the thoughts of Cancer Research UK, a marvellous body, to whom we have been regularly contributing since 2003. You should do likewise. And, although we respect their considered thoughts (see link) we can’t help wandering that, even if they are right in general terms, is something else going on at a more subtle level?
#stress #illness #cancer #genes #environment #trauma