Studies Link Depression to Cancer

· April 10, 2017
Studies have shown that depression can increase your risk of getting cancer. Don't let that worry you, though: Depression is also a sign that it's time to take better care of your mental and physical health, which can help you prevent a wide variety of diseases and feel better.

Recent studies have found that people who have symptoms of depression for a long period of time are more likely to die from cancer.

Why is this?

Is there a link between depression and cancer?

Depression is the result of a complex interaction between social, psychological, and biological factors.

This can result in a variety of alterations at different stages in your life.

However, when you suffer from depression over and over again, you can potentially aggravate other health factors. One of them could be cancer.

Do you want to know more? See: Yoga helps cure depression

Evidence for the relationship between depression and cancer

Several studies have linked depression with a greater likelihood of suffering from different types of tumors.

In a study that was carried out in the UK, a clinical analysis of more than 160,000 adults found that:

  • Many people had repeated psychological problems.
  • Those who did were more likely to die from cancers related to the pancreas, prostrate, or colon.

However, there is no evidence that the link is directly cause and effect. Researchers made it very clear that this study just has statistically significant conclusions.

Other research on depression

These studies and more are joined by a good body of evidence that also indicates the same conclusion.

The interactions between physical health and mental health have already been proven many times.

For example, there is clear evidence of a relationship between the symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders and the occurrence of cardiovascular disease.

Hormonal imbalances

Thee relationship between cancer and depression is caused by hormonal imbalances. After all, depression leads to a higher production of cortisol. This imbalance can lead to other health problems.

In addition to that, the body’s natural mechanisms for DNA repair are inhibited. This weakens your defenses against cancer.

Another very important factor is that people who have frequent bouts of depression are more prone to alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and obesity.

As you know, these are three risk factors for cancer.

Psychological stress and depression

People experience psychological stress when they are disturbed by mental, physical, or emotional pressure.

It’s not bad to have some stress sometimes.

However, suffering from it to a high degree for long times or repeatedly can have serious consequences for your physical and mental health.

When episodes of stress occur, the body reacts to the pressure by releasing cortisol.

These hormones promote increases in your blood pressure. In addition, they speed up your heart rate, and increase concentrations of sugar in your bloodstream.

While these shifts can make it easier to have more energy to deal with that stress, the reality is that they also come with certain health risks.

Excessive stress may lead to diseases

Chronic stress that is both intense and over long periods of time can cause urinary problems, digestive issues, and alterations in fertility and the immune system.

In addition, those who have chronic stress are also more prone to common diseases.

This is the case with the flu, common colds, headaches, and sleeping disorders. I’s also the case with diseases that are the focus of this article: anxiety and depression.

Stress management and cancer screening

People who have already been diagnosed with cancer have to learn to control their psychological stress as well as their depression.

First of all, it’s important to find emotional and social support. This can help decrease anxiety and alleviate the effects of depression and anxiety. In addition, it can help reduce or prevent other symptoms that occur when the body’s defenses are down.

Methods for managing stress and depression

Certain mental techniques can really help to fight stress and depression.

This is the case with yoga, meditation, relaxation techniques, and even more.

In addition, other therapies can help alleviate your psychological stress.

Overall, healthy habits, taking care of you body and mind, healthy eating and getting enough sleep are very effective habits when it comes to fighting stress, depression, anxiety, and other related diseases.