Stress seems to be an inescapable part of modern life. Adding a cancer diagnosis, existential anxiety, multiple medical appointments, financial worries, and physical issues to already busy lives make things worse. Before we go any further: Stress does not cause cancer. Stress does not worsen cancer. Stress has absolutely nothing to do with the biological mechanisms of cancer cells. Of course stress can wreck the quality of a day, but that is a different concern.
This is a very good article from Cancer Net because it speaks to the specific additional stresses that accompany cancer. Here is the start and a link to read more:
A disease such as cancer is often one of the most stressful experiences of a person's life. Coping with cancer
can be more challenging with added stress from work, family, or financial concerns. Usual, everyday stress can
also make coping with a cancer diagnosis more difficult.
Stress has not been shown to cause cancer. But chronic stress may weaken the immune system, causing
other health problems and decreasing feelings of well-being.
Tips for reducing stress
Stressors are sources of stress. Some stressors are predictable and, therefore, sometimes avoidable. You can
often lower the number of stressors in your life by making small changes. Consider the following tips for
Avoid scheduling conflicts. Use a day planner or electronic calendar to keep track of your
appointments and activities. When you schedule activities, allow plenty of time to finish one activity
before starting the next. Don't schedule too many activities for the same day or week, especially
activities that require preparation.
Be aware of your limits. If you don’t have the time or energy, it’s ok to say a polite "no" when people
ask you to take on tasks. At work, don't volunteer for projects that would make your workload
unmanageable. If saying “no” feels difficult, tell the person asking what you can do instead.