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In animal study, anxiety increased cancer severity

In a Stanford study appearing today in PLoS ONE, researchers show that anxiety-prone mice develop more severe cancer then their calm counterparts. The work, which is detailed in a release, is "the first to biologically connect the personality trait of high anxiety to greater cancer threats."

Saying that studies in humans are now needed, stress expert and study author Firdaus Dhabhar, PhD, notes:

It’s bad enough that cancer diagnosis and treatment generates stress and anxiety, but this study shows that anxiety and stress can accelerate cancer progression, thus perpetuating a vicious cycle. The goal is to ameliorate or eliminate the effects of anxiety and chronic stress, at least at the time of cancer diagnosis and during treatment.

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