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Job Stress NOT Related to Cancer

Posted 2/14/2013

Posted in

  On the one hand, I applaud this study, the fact that someone bothered to spend money and time to gather real data to disprove a worry. On the other hand, I am rather baffled that anyone would seriously think that job stress causes cancer. I am painfully aware of all the misinformation about stress causing cancer (it does NOT). Even if you believed this, I suspect that you would not worry especially about job stress as opposed to all the stress in your life. Why could it possibly be worse that you don't get along with a co-worker than you barely have enough money to pay the rent or are very worried about your son's health?

  Job stress in this European study was defined as high demand and low control. It found no association in a number of cancers, including breast, between stress at work and development of cancer. Here is the beginning and a link to read more:

Job Stress Not Linked With Cancer Risk

Job stress was not directly associated with the risks of lung, breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer in a large retrospective study.

"Work-related psychosocial stress is unlikely to be an important risk factor for these cancers," wrote Katriina Heikkilä, Ph.D., and her coauthors in the Feb. 7 issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ 2013;346b:f165 [doi: 10.1136/bmj.f165]). "Thus, though reducing work stress would undoubtedly improve the psychological and physical well-being of the working individuals as well as the working population, it is unlikely to have an important impact on cancer burden at a population level."

The mean follow-up in these studies was 12 years, but follow-up ranged from 5-23 years.


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