Stress turns the body into a ‘super highway’ for cancer and spreads six times faster

Australia, June 29: New research has discovered a startling link between stress and cancer for sufferers of the disease – with stress causing cancer to spread through the body six times faster.

The study revealed the link can cause the body to turn into a ‘super highway’ which carries the cancer around it.

‘The key finding is that stress can drive the spread of cancer,’ Dr Erica Sloan, a cancer biologist at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, told Daily Mail Australia.

‘Stress creates physical routes out of the tumor that provide a physical pathway for the cancer to spread,’ she added.

Tests were undertaken on mice to track the spread breast cancer – ‘to investigate how stress signaling affects the progression of cancer and its response to therapy’.

‘You see six times more spread of cancer in stressed mice compared to control mice’, Dr Caroline Lee told the ABC.

Cancer treatment such as chemotherapy and surgeries can take both a mental and physical toll on the body.

Dr Sloan said off the back of the research they were now testing a drug called Propranolol to see if it could work as a ‘buffer’ for this stress and allow treatments to work more effectively.

Propranolol is a beta-blocker, usually used to treat high blood pressure, prevent heart attacks, or reduce the frequency of migraine headaches.

‘Stress might make treatments work not as well,’ Dr Sloan told Daily Mail Australia.

She said as well as the emotional toll of battling the disease, a physical stress such as undergoing operations also needed to be taken into account.

‘Cancer is a stressful experience… It’s not so much “should I be stressing less?” It’s actually acknowledging that it is stressful and to treat the patient accordingly.’

Clinical trials will soon be undertaken to see if the medication helps stop the spread in patients.