FROM this blog on September 9, 2015 (

According to Michael Jan, MD, and his collaborators at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden those of us who are experiencing high levels of stress need to be cautious. Their findings boil down to the fact that our stress could allow our prostate cancer to kill us. He surveyed 4,105 men treated for clinically localized prostate cancer and found that those with the highest levels of perceived stress had a 66% increased risk of prostate cancer gery,specific mortality compared with men who had low stress levels!

We have evidence that tress shortens life and affects a person’s quality of life. We also know that having cancer increases stress and we also know that many cancer treatments increases our stress levels. We know these facts, but what can we do to eliminate stress, or even limit stress?

Researchers from Cyprus University asked this question. They wanted to know if two common protocols, guided imagery (GI) and progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) could reduce stress in patients with prostate and breast cancer who undergo chemotherapy.

The researchers set out to answer this question by having a randomly control trial comparing a control group who did not receive any stress reduction intervention against an intervention group that received PMR and GI. The trial duration was three weeks ending with an assessment using the SAS and BECK-II questionnaires for anxiety and depression as well as evaluating two biological markers, saliva cortisol and saliva amylase.

They had a sample size of 256 patients of which 236 were randomly assigned to either the treatment group or the control group. Randomization was 1 to 1.

They found that in the intervention group, patients receiving PMG and GI, were significantly better than the control group’s stress levels. This finding was consistent across all scales and bio-marker measures.

They concluded that patients with prostate and breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy treatment benefit from PMR and GI sessions to reduce their anxiety and depression. Although it would make sense that this type of positive result might extend to all cancer treatments we can not make this evidence based conclusion until additional studies have been performed. However, we should be pressuring our medical facilities to provide the appropriate training to breast and prostate cancer survivors as they begin to prepare to receive chemotherapy.

The Study