Stress and its effects

Posted something similar on “the other site” but thought this is important and wondered what others also think. One thing that does keep popping up is the word “stress”. Stress plays a vital part in our body makeup and if we are susceptible to any particular condition then I believe stress could be partly responsible. So what do we do about stress, some of us can’t do anything about it at all because of factors in our lives, but if we do find something that helps to relieve it a little i.e. either a glass or two of wine, a ciggie (I don’t smoke by the way), a bar of chocolate, a mad clean up in the house or a walk in the park etc if it helps do it. My GP categorically insists that relieving a little stress is a big factor in wellbeing. He says it doesn’t cause disease it just gives it a little help . All of us have different lifestyles and the many debates, risk factors, surveys, studies and such like that I have read about on these forums seem to me to have one common denominator, in my view anyay, that everyone at some stage in their lives have experienced a very stressful time, this COULD lead to cancer, stroke, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes etc. Which brings me back to the fact that stress CAN cause something and if we have that “certain something” in us - well, that’s it girls. What do you think?

Love K


Couldn’t agree with you more. But how do we go about avoiding stress - we cant - we all have families, this horrible disease etc. Yes we can worry less about work and stuff but when you have family who keep getting sick, the worry of these treatments and disease process etc - goes back to how can we avoid it - I would be very rich if I had the answer.

I try to take walks , have reflexology (only since all this started) - but I cannot stop my brain from working overtime!! I’ve even tried telling my family to stop getting ill - but no-one is listening. Sometimes I wish I had religious beliefs as I know many people take comfort in this - but I can’t - complete and utter atheist. Sometimes wish I smoked (not really - but folk use this as a calming measure). Maybe we should all try wacky backy - only joking on that one too.

God how I long to be stress free and worry free


p.s. - hope you are doing ok Kelly

i totally agree with you Kelly, i split from a abusive relationship, had financial problems and was bringing up 3 kids on my own, i’m a very anxious person and suffer from depression too, i honestly believe stress is a big factor…but then i get breast cancer and i’m even more stressed!! do i get out of the circle??..i guess we’d all like the answer to that one!

karen x

You probably all know my son is very physically disabled, got a chest infection 3 weeks ago which could be life threatening for him. Dad died around that time too and had his funeral, a year ago hubby had such high blood pressure (he went for a flu jab, dr took his blood pressure and had a fit). Hubby told he was at such high risk of imminent heart attack etc. Then the doctors tell you “try to reduce your stress levels” - yeah right!! That’s why I was trying to say, all the things we do to try and reduce stress, if it helps, even only a little bit, it can only do you good. Stress is more of a threat to us than a glass of wine, ciggies, choccies etc.

Love talking to you girls

I have found yoga to be a great help - you really can have a stress free hour if you go to a class or if you practice at home when you are alone. But I think for us who have had BC stress is inevitable. There is always that question mark in ones mind if you get an ache or feel bad and have a miserable day. Today my flushes have been really bad and I am aching all over. The family just don’t seem to notice or rather choose not to!

Dear Olivia

Yes, its totally true, if we feel bad for whatever reason its that little black cloud at the back of our minds that seems to grow and grow, the seed of doubt gets bigger and bigger. Its only the ladies (and some gentlemen) that get BC that truly understand - we don’t really have to say too much to fellow BC members, its just there all the time, the knowledge, the compassion, the understanding, sympathy, support, love … I could go on. I have never been able to express my true feelings before I joined this site. I don’t feel silly, pathetic, neurotic or whatever, I know everyone will understand. Something hit me hard tonight whilst having dinner with hubby and will be creating a new topic -probably something like “BC is all too consuming” under Living with BC.

Lots of people have suggested yoga, can’t help thinking of Yogi Bear and BooBoo every time I see “yoga”, so if I start taking up something like that just hope that I could take it seriously without keep giggling lol

Love K

It’s funny you should bring this up, Kelly, as I’ve just read a post on another forum from a guy whose ex-girlfriend has just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, aged 33. I pm’d him and he told me he was astounded as she had possibly the least stressful life of anyone he knows: single, no children, low stress job, previously in excellent health and living in Chile with a view of the mountains outside her bedroom window.

This is a subject that has actually been the subject of a lot of research and there appears to be no evidence that stress causes or even triggers cancer. If you think about it, most people will have experienced periods of great stress in their lives yet most people don’t get cancer. Then there are those who have had only minor stress - like the poster’s ex - but got it anyway. I met a woman at radiotherapy who said she had a “lovely life” before she got breast cancer. She had never smoked, didn’t drink alcohol and had a happy marriage and family life. Then there are all those little kids who get leukemia and other cancers. Children don’t generally have stressful lives.

My opinion, based on what I have read, is that most cancer is still pretty random. It appears that those that get it young probably have a genetic predisposition. What they are still unsure of is what acts as the trigger. In some lung cancers and skin cancers the triggers have been identified but in breast cancer everything from environmental pollution to wearing underwired bras has been blamed. The reality is there are countless theories but as yet no definite answers.

Sometimes I find myself looking back on my life and wondering if I would have done anything differently. But I always come back to the conclusion that no matter what I did I was going to get breast cancer anyway. I believe the blueprint is there from birth. That’s just my opinion, though, and I accept everyone is different.

I totally agree with Lolag, it is a dammed if you do, dammed if you dont situation, there is far too much enviromental pollution and additives in products and food, some days something is good for you and the next it isnt you cant win, I aslo do think stress is a huge factor in illness…


I believe stress was a major factor in my BC. Not saying it caused it on it’s own, but my GP says stress lowers the bodies natural immunity. Before my diagnosis, I was mega stressed with work, house move, money worries connected to my husband not looking for work and other stuff too numerous to mention.

Since getting BC I have been stressed but nothing like the daily grind I used to have.

I think we all have to assess our lives. I drank too much, didn’t exercise, had major financial worries and a strained relationship. Oh and I worked with EBD kids (behaviour problems) and was often emotionally and physically abused by pupils. BC is a relative walk in the park! No, thats too flipant, it isn’t, it’s just different.

I’m told exercise is a major stress buster, thats why I’ve invested in an exercise bike! That and to help remove the fat!


Hi Kelly,
I do think stress may play a part. can’t comment so much for myself, although have always been a worrier. A member of my family last her father several years ago, tragically, through an accident. His widow was obviously devastated as they were a very close family. She was diagnosed with stomach cancer within 1 year after his death and sadly died a few months later. To me it all seems related.
Take care,
Shorty xx

Hi Girls - I just add my ideas!!! -I think unfortunately we ( all us brave and strong women here) were all born with a tendency towards BC - that is our weakness - everyone has something and unfortunately this is ours. I think that then when we experience stress in our lives it MAY trigger off this horrible disease. Personally first time around I was diagnosed 1 year after a very stressful house move and 12 weeks after miscarrying twins, this year I have been really stressed with work and hey presto it came back!!!

Perhaps it is just co-incidence - who knows - but I feel I need to jump off that roundabout I was on and re-evaluate my life. It is for living and I am going to do everything I can to have fun and reduce stress. I will go back to work because I need the money to do all these fun things but where my husband and kids have been doing loads while I have been recuperating from mastectomy and recon they can carry on with all these chores for ever!!

Take care girls and chill out

Sarah x x x

Great thread… the stress it the difficult one to get rid of as we have no ‘control’ … we can feed the kids arrange our house houses… but for ourselves we MUST take 5 minutes and do something completely different that really concentrates the mind even if only for that 5 mins little bits to start with… anyway thats how started now I can usually manage about an 1hr of totally using my brain on something else… maybe its called relaxation but I’m not that far yet… even in the middle of the long nights when you cant sleep…just an idea