Too much stress could be linked to the spread of breast cancer

We're all familiar with stress and its side effects – anxious feelings, exhaustion, tension in your neck muscles and headaches, just to name a few. However, a new study has found that when a gene that is linked to stress becomes activated, it could lead to the spread of cancer cells. Researchers from Ohio State University identified a gene known as ATF3​, which is activated in response to external stressors, as the one that is aiding the spread of cancer. Normally, the ATF3 gene causes normal cells to "self-destruct" if they have been damaged beyond repair by stress. Cancerous tumors, however, have shown the ability to turn the gene on in immune system cells, causing them to be destroyed and incapable of preventing the spread of cancer.

While it hasn't been shown to cause cancer, stress can really take a toll on your body. Whether you are battling breast cancer or are experiencing symptoms of other ailments, decreasing your stress levels is always a good health move. You can lower your stress by:

  • Practicing yoga
  • Exercising regularly
  • Meditating during the day
  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Taking time for a hobby
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