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Archive for January 29th, 2010

Interesting article I read in one of the daily newspapers a few weeks back:

as read:

Health Editor Sam Lister

Loneliness and stress ‘raise the chances of breast cancer’.

Loneliness and stress may play an important role in triggering breast cancer, a study suggests.

Scientists studying cancer-prone rats found that isolation ad stress increased their risk of developing breast tumours more than three-fold.

Animals kept on their own grew 84 times more tumours than those which suffered cancer while living in groups.

They were also afflicted with more aggressive and deadly forms of the disease.

Scientists believe the findings are relevant to humans.  Both rats and humans are naturally sociable and suffer stress when isolated.   The biological mechanisms leading to breast cancer are also similar in both species.

Researchers at the University of Chicago compared outcomes of female brown rats which were either kept alone, or in small groups.   The rats were genetically engineered to be susceptible to breast cancer, and tended to grow tumours in middle age.

The findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that rats that lived alone produced higher levels of stress hormones and became more sensitive to stressful situations.

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