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Cancer Is Linked To Unexpressed Anger, Studies Say (And Here Are Ways To Deal With It)

Cancer Is Linked To Unexpressed Anger, Studies Say (And Here Are Ways To Deal With It)

When we think about cancer, we think of the disease and how it affects someone. The focus is generally on the numerous types of cancers and a variety of genetic and environmental factors that have been identified as potential causes.

Did you know that cancer also has emotional roots? There is one major contributor to the disease that is almost always overlooked: repressed emotions and unexpressed anger.

The stress hormone (Cortisol) can be caused by emotional triggers. Suppression of this hormone can decrease a person’s level of immune response. Elevated levels of cortisol have been found to directly suppress the immune system. When the immune system is not functioning properly, normal cells can mutate into cancer cells. The more you suppress your negative emotions, the more susceptible you are to cancer manifesting in your body.

A number of studies have been done on the subject and Alternative Cancer Care notes the link between repressed anger and cancer. Another study from the King’s College Hospital in London found “a significant association between the diagnosis of breast cancer and a behavior pattern, persisting throughout adult life, of an abnormal release of emotions.”

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Other researchers from the University of Rochester and Harvard School of Public Health found that people who suppress anger have a 70 percent higher risk of dying from cancer. A University of Michigan study found that suppression of anger predicted earlier mortality in men and women.

The University of Tennessee showed that suppressed anger was a precursor to developing cancer, while the California Department of Health Services and NHI showed an increase in death from cancer for those who suppressed their anger.

Research at California Breast Cancer Research Program at Stanford University showed that powerful emotions cause a flood of cortisol that predicted early death in women with breast cancer.

How Emotional Stress Causes Cancer At The Cellular Level

Phase 1: Inescapable shock

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In this phase, a person experiences a severe emotional trauma or shock 18-24 months prior to the cancer diagnosis. The trauma affects deep sleep and the production of melatonin in the body. Melatonin inhibits cancer cell growth. When this part of the emotional reflex center of the brain is damaged as a result of the emotional trauma, the organs begin to break down, which can lead to cancer.

Phase 2: Adrenalin depletion

Elevated stress hormones deplete adrenaline levels in the adrenal glands. The body already has limited reserves of adrenaline, and emotional stress depletes those reserves rapidly. This can start phase three, the spreading of cancer-fungus, causing cell mutation.

Phase 3: The Cancer Fungus

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During this phase, tiny microorganisms necessary for life (called somatics) that live in our body change into a yeast-like fungus to ferment excess glucose and lactic acid in cells. The fungus then migrates to the cell nucleus to reproduce, releasing acidic waste products called “mycotoxins,” which inhibit cell DNA repair and the production of all-important tumor suppressor genes. Without the tumor suppressor genes to regulate cell death, the cells then mutate into cancer cells.

Phase 4: Niacin Deficiency

The depleted adrenaline levels cause a depletion of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine creates adrenaline and, as more dopamine is used during prolonged stress, amino acids create serotonin to offset a person’s mood. The problem is that this results in a depletion of tryptophan which is needed to synthesize niacin for cell respiration. Normally tryptophan converts niacin into enzymes that are used for cell respiration, glucose conversion, and the creation of ATP energy. Without niacin, the cell will ferment glucose instead, resulting in cell mutation and the formation of cancer.

Phase 5: Vitamin C depletion

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During chronic stress, the adrenal glands also release Vitamin C into the body to diminish the stressful impact on the heart and blood pressure systems. Vitamin C is essential for preventing cell DNA converting oxygen waste products into oxygen and water within the cell. The continual loss of Vitamin C during stress increases cell mitochondrial DNA damage and mutation, causing normal cells to mutate into cancer cells.

Phase 6: Immune Suppression

The immune system is suppressed by elevated cortisol levels. An individual experiencing severe prolonged emotional stress is exhausted, and therefore their adrenals and thyroid are fatigued. Mineral levels are depleted as stress decreases the amount of minerals in the body. Minerals are needed for the immune system to function. The immune system begins to weaken and stop production of interleukin-2-producing T cells, B cells, natural killer cells, macrophages, and neutrophils. Without immune system cells, viral-bacterial-yeast-like fungus that are pleomorphic within cells continue to grow and newly created cancer cells continue to multiply.

There is no question as to the role of negative emotions on health, especially when they are repressed. The research leads us to come to what could be a life-saving conclusion. If you are angry, find a healthy way to express it. Holding onto it really could be deadly.

Some healthy ways to express anger include:

  1. A good workout
  2. Practice controlled breathing
  3. Practice progressive muscle relaxation
  4. Use a stress-relief toy
  5. Find something funny or silly
  6. Listen to calming music
  7. Repeat self-calming statements

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Melissa Atkinson

Freelance writer

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Last Updated on January 3, 2020

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

 I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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