Common Misconception - Stress Causes Cancer

There are numerous risk factors for developing cancer, such as obesity, drinking excessive alcohol and smoking, but it seems that there are many people out there who mistakenly believe that stress can increase your chances of falling ill.

New research carried out by YouGov on behalf of the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has found that 50 per cent of people believe that stress can increase the risk – higher than last year’s study where 46 per cent said the same, the Guardian reports.

The WCRF is quick to stress that there is no evidence out there that would suggest stress can lead to cancer, but it did add that:

“People under stress can sometimes behave in unhealthy ways, such as smoking, overeating or drinking heavily, which do increase their risk of many cancers. If you’re under stress, it’s important to try to find other ways of coping, such as doing physical activity”.

The study also found that while concerned about the stress and cancer link, 51 per cent of those asked also didn’t know that processed meat can increase cancer risk. Eating meat that’s been preserved, cured or smoked (such as salami, hot dogs, pastrami and chorizo) can increase the risk of cancer.

What’s more, 51 per cent also didn’t know that being physically active can reduce the risk of developing cancer.

So if you are feeling stressed out, don’t reach for the bottle or that packet of cigarettes – hit the gym and start eating healthily. Your feelings of stress will likely soon disappear… and you’ll reduce your risk of cancer at the same time.

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