How Stress Can Impact Your Health: Let's Talk About Breast Cancer

By Dr. Sajjan Rajpurohit in Breast Cancer

Nov 29 , 2022 | 3 min read

Stress is a normal body reaction caused by anything ranging from work-related pressure to personal trauma. It's important to know that stress doesn't cause breast cancer, but it might worsen your cancer if you already have it.

The role of stress in Breast Cancer

It's no secret stress harms our health. But did you know stress can contribute to the development of breast cancer?

When we're stressed, our bodies produce the hormone cortisol. Cortisol has been linked to increased risk of developing breast cancer. Stress can also make it harder for our bodies to fight cancer cells.

So, what can be done to reduce stress and lower your risk of developing breast cancer? There are many things you can do, including:

  • Exercise regularly

  • Meditate or do yoga

  • Spend time with friends and family

  • Get plenty of rest

  • Eat a healthy diet

If you struggle to manage your stress, do not hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional. They can help develop healthy coping mechanisms and create a plan to reduce stress levels.

How to reduce symptoms of stress

Things can be done to reduce the symptoms of stress. Some people find that physical activity, such as walking or running, helps relieve stress. Relaxation techniques, like yoga or meditation, can also be helpful.

If you are experiencing stress, it is important to talk to someone about it. Talk to your doctor or a counsellor. Talking about your feelings can help to reduce the symptoms of stress.

Is there a difference between a traumatic stressor and an everyday stressor?

The American Psychological Association defines a stressor as "any event or circumstance that triggers the body's stress response." Stress is a response, it is the body's way of protecting itself from perceived threats. It is a natural, physical reaction that occurs in the presence of danger.

However, not all stressors are created equal. Some stressors, like meeting a deadline at work or dealing with a traffic jam, are relatively minor and manageable. These are everyday stressors we all experience from time to time. Other stressors, like experiencing a natural disaster or being the victim of a violent crime, are much more severe. These are considered traumatic stressors.

Traumatic stressors can have a profound impact on our health. They can increase the risk of developing physical and mental health problems, including cancer. Studies have shown that women who have experienced traumatic events are more prone to develop breast cancer than women who have not experienced such events.

While we can't always control the stressful events that occur, we have control over how we respond to them. Taking steps to manage our stress levels can help protect our health and well-being.

Tips for regulating your stress levels

Various things can be done to help regulate your stress levels and keep them from impacting your health. Here are a few tips:

  • Get regular exercise. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and tension. It also helps to improve your overall mood and sense of well-being.

  • Make time for relaxation. Relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation and deep breathing can help you calm down and reduce stress.

  • Avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms. When stressed, some people turn to unhealthy behaviours like smoking, drinking, or overeating. These habits can worsen stress levels and lead to other health problems.

  • Seek professional help if needed. If you're struggling to cope with stress on your own, don't be afraid to seek professional help from a therapist or counsellor.


Let's talk about breast cancer and how stress can impact your health. Stress is a leading factor in many health problems, including breast cancer. When you're stressed, the body produces cortisol, which can increase the growth of cancer cells. So it's essential to find ways to manage stress and keep your cortisol levels down. There are many ways to do this, such as yoga, meditation, and aromatherapy. If you're struggling with stress, don't hesitate to reach out for help from a therapist or counsellor. Everyone deserves to live a life that is not ruled by stress.