Share “Stress might play role in disease”

BY PENNY COCKERELL Modified: March 17, 2009 at 11:16 am •  Published: March 17, 2009
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Don Imus has been rebuilding his audience since being fired from CBS Radio and MSNBC in spring 2007 for a racial slur regarding the Rutgers women’s basketball team.

Imus, 68, announced on his radio show Monday he has stage 2 prostate cancer and suggested it was partially caused by stress.

Maybe. But studies have yet to prove that stress is definitely linked to causing cancer.

"Scientists have been studying a link between cancer and stress for decades, but no one has found a direct cause-and-effect link that says having stress causes patients to develop cancer,” Dr. Gary Gorbsky said Monday. "That said, there are several cancer risk factors that increase when people are stressed.”

Gorbsky is the program chair of the Cell Cycle and Cancer Biology Research Department at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.

Stresscauses some people to eat more, smoke more cigarettes and drink to excess — and over time, those can increase the chances of developing cancer, Gorbsky said.

"Smoking and obesity absolutely increase cancer risks,” Gorbsky said.

Stress or no stress, Imus has at least one of the main risk factors for prostate cancer — age. The average age for the onset of this form of cancer is 65.


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