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News & Perspectives

Stress and Cancer

Few events are as stressful as a diagnosis of cancer. But reducing stress may be key to survival.

Stanford University doctors found that among women with metastatic breast cancer, those with high daytime levels of the stress hormone cortisol--a marker for psychological stress--died on average one year sooner than those with normal levels of the hormone (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 7/00).

Meditation, guided imagery, even listening to music are among the many mind-body techniques that can help contain stress.

The calming influence of meditation, for example, has been shown to reduce flare-ups of psoriasis, lower blood pressure, lessen addictive cravings, and mitigate depression. And other techniques, such as yoga and breathing exercises, are now employed at a number of clinics to ease the stress of infertility and boost fertility rates.

Date Posted: 07/27/2001

Date Published: 07/26/2001
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