When I as four years old, I remember being at my mother’s bedside. Piercing her left arm at the elbow she had a long needle attached to the end of a clear plastic tube. The tube dripped a clear fluid into Mom’s arm at the rate of a slightly leaky faucet in an old house.
She was admitted as soon as her doctor found a lump in her left breast.
Mom looked like she had been through a war. Her face was greenish, her hair clung to beads of sweat on her forehead. We didn’t know if she had been handed an internal death sentence. Her doctor began to look like an executioner.
I was surprised to see a clear, measurable difference both in mammary gland tumor growth and interestingly in accompanying behavior
As a kid, I never asked why this happened. I remember thinking that my Mom finally broke. I was not surprised. She carried so much burden.
Now, a six year long study at the world reknown University of Chicago was completed with alarming proof of what we all knew intuitively. Depression and loneliness increase cancer risk and tumor size.
Two groups of breast cancer predisposed mice were studied. One group was allowed to socialize. The other group was isolated to cause social stress. The isolated group’s breast cancer rate was higher and their tumor sizes were larger.
A conclusive finding of this nature, as intuitive as it is, can be difficult to produce. “I doubted there would be a difference in the growth of the tumors in such a strong model of genetically inherited cancer simply based on chronic stress in their environments,” researcher Suzanne Conzen M.D. said.
But the study was conclusive. “I was surprised to see a clear, measurable difference both in mammary gland tumor growth and interestingly in accompanying behavior and stress hormone levels,” Conzen continued.”
Thirty years after standing at my mom’s bedside, thirty years after imagining life without my mom, I’ve met many people with cancer. I wonder how many of them would still be with me today if they were just happy.
JBNI Genomics and Cancer Proteomics is the producer of this blog and producer of “Bioprin,” a 100% natural – zero side effect formula called “remarkable” and “stronger than chemotherapeutic agents” by PhDs from Dana Farber Cancer Institute / Harvard Medical School.