Stress’s Hidden Dangers: How Does It Affect Liver Cancer?

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Stress is something many of us experience, whether it is because of an upcoming deadline at work or a pressing family matter. While it is normal to go through this occasionally, being chronically stressed poses more serious problems. It can even increase your risk of developing liver cancer and affect your response to liver cancer treatments

Let us look at the different ways stress is a risk factor and what you can do with your liver cancer specialist to improve your condition. 

How is Stress a Risk Factor for Liver Cancer?

More Stress Hormones Means a Weaker Immune System

Stress triggers various bodily responses, such as the production of cortisol. While this hormone can help regulate functions such as metabolism and blood pressure, it can also result in inflammation if we constantly have high levels.

Too much inflammation can restrict our immune system’s ability to fight off harmful bodies — including cancer cells in our liver. 

Poorer Liver Function

Chronic stress can also reduce blood flow in the liver and increase enzyme levels in an effort to make the liver work harder. This is also a sign of cell damage and inflammation, which can develop into cancer. 

Behavioral Factors

When we are stressed, we often turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms like smoking tobacco, drinking too much alcohol, and eating a poor diet. All of these can do long-term harm to your liver and increase the likelihood of having cancer. 

Impact of Stress During Liver Cancer Treatments

Less Effective Response 

A liver cancer specialist does what they can to assess the appropriate options to deal with your cancer. However, being under constant stress also affects how effective they can be. Your body could produce certain hormones that make you more resistant to chemotherapy. 

Delayed Recovery

Stress weakens your body’s ability to repair itself. This makes it more difficult to recuperate after surgeries and other treatments, delaying your overall recovery. 

Psychological Impact 

Cancer and its treatments are also sources of stress. The emotional and mental toll it has on you should not be overlooked because it can diminish your quality of life and your willpower to continue the fight against your illness. 

How Can We Minimise Our Stress?

There are several ways to keep your stress levels in check, such as: 

Be More Physically Active

Working out releases endorphins that lower our stress levels, so try to take time out of your day for some exercise. It also improves liver function and lowers your cancer risk. 

But if you already have cancer, ask your liver cancer specialist about what exercises you can do without straining yourself. 

Practise Mindfulness and Meditation

Activities like breathing exercises and yoga can ease your mind from its burdens so you can manage the cause of your stress more effectively.

Try to find hobbies as well — even reading a good book provides an outlet for all the stress building inside you. 

Seek Support From Others

There is no shame in finding emotional relief from others, whether it is from a family member or a friend. 

A liver cancer specialist can also help you get in touch with support groups that can listen to your worries so you do not feel isolated. These networks may also provide resources if you need financial help, hospice assistance, and so on. 

You Need Not Face Your Stress Alone

Stress is more than an emotional burden. It also affects us physically, such as putting us at more risk of diseases like liver cancer. How we respond to liver cancer treatments is also influenced by how stressed we are. 

If we want to minimise our chances of falling ill with such diseases, we should also take care of our mental health. Do not be afraid to find help from medical professionals and your community. Your well-being is always worth the effort.

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About The Author:

Rebecca Teo is a talented writer, a healthcare advocate, and a Marketing Executive. She has a deep-rooted fascination for medical advancements and women’s health issues so she has carved a niche for herself in the field of writing. Rebecca’s expertise spans a wide array of surgical specialties, including general surgery, endoscopy, urology, colorectal procedures, and hepato-pancreato-biliary surgery. Her ability to break down complex medical jargon into accessible and engaging narratives has earned her a loyal following among readers looking for credible healthcare information. Subscribe to Rebecca’s blog for insightful articles delivered straight to your inbox or leave a comment on her latest post. Rebecca loves answering questions and engaging with her readers.

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