Does stress lead to cancer?

Whether due to work, family or finances, most of us have felt stressed at some point in our lives. And to make matters worse, some studies have shown that stress can lead to depression, anxiety, or a weakened immune system. But can it cause cancer?


The National Cancer Institute says no. There is no evidence that stress alone can lead to cancer. But, habits such as smoking, drinking, and eating unhealthy foods may be linked to cancer. These are often done in response to high stress events.


Bottom line: cope with stress in healthy ways, such as exercising, deep breathing, meditation, and getting help from your doctor, if needed. Lowering your overall stress levels will help you feel your best emotionally and physically. And, don’t worry about whether the occasional stressful event may cause cancer. The experts say it won’t.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


The American Institute for Preventive Medicine (AIPM) is not responsible for the availability or content of external sites, nor does AIPM endorse them. Also, it is the responsibility of the user to examine the copyright and licensing restrictions of external pages and to secure all necessary permission.


The content on this website is proprietary. You may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit, or distribute, in any manner, the material on the website without the written permission of AIPM.