Anything that compromises your immune system
dramatically reduces your chances for long term survival.
It’s understandable that sexuality may not be the primary focus for most cancer patients, at least not right away. But at some point, whether because of sexual changes, relationship issues, or difficulties with fertility, patients realize the impact of cancer on their sexuality. What is not realized is how dysfunctions in our sexualities causes cancer. What we do about our sexualities has a great bearing on whether we recover from cancer or not because sexual stress does cause cancer and does reduce immune system strength.
MD Anderson Cancer Center and The Canadian Cancer Society say, “When you think of sexuality, your first thought may be the physical act of sexual intercourse. But sexuality goes beyond engaging in sexual activity. As a human being, your sexuality is a part of your physical, emotional, intellectual, and social self. It affects how you think of yourself and how you relate to others, as well as how they relate to you, and it is a part of you throughout your entire life.”
Dr. Nalini Chilkov writes, “Cancer risk increases when the immune system is compromised by stress, loss of sleep, depression, inability to eat, poor nutrition. When a woman is traumatized by sexual violence and sexual assault, particularly if it was perpetrated by someone she trusted such as her partner or a family member her immune system will be compromised and her risk of many diseases, including cancer will increase.”
The news of being diagnosed with cancer and the fear
and uncertainty of death represents a shock for most
people creating a spike in stress hormone cortisol levels.
When the body is under stress, it releases hormones — such as adrenaline and cortisol that cause suppression of our immune system. Stress does wide scale damage to our physiology and even reaches down to genes forcing activation of certain genes and deactivation of others leading to changes that impact the growth of cancer. The stress hormone cortisol can change the body’s genetics and interfere with the ability of tumor-suppressing genes to do their job.
For Lothar Hirneise, cancer starts with stress: “Cancer cannot
exist without stress. One hundred percent impossible! There
are a lot of debates on types of stress — physical and psychological
— but for a cell it doesn’t matter where the stress comes from.”
Though most physicians are still sceptical that emotions matter clinically we can see clearly how people who experience long term depression and anxiety, long periods of sadness and pessimism, incessant hostility and aggression have much higher incidences of major diseases. Stress, which has been loosely defined as “a state of threatened homeostasis,” has repeatedly been shown to result in changes in the immune system’s ability to mount a response to an immune challenge. Dozens of studies have shown that stress can alter the levels of certain biochemical markers in the body — key players in the human immune response. Reporting in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a team of researchers from five universities argue that stress can lessen a person’s immune response and that change can make them more susceptible to infectious diseases.
Intense emotional stresses weaken the internal
viscera, thus increasing the opportunity
for pathologies of all types, including cancer.
Stressful events such as these have been linked with a decrease in several aspects of immune function, including the natural killer cell, which is responsible for the surveillance and destruction of tumor cells. In patients with breast cancer, stress has been associated with lower levels of natural killer cell activity, which in turn has been linked to poorer disease outcome.
Dr. Spiegel, MD says that sleep problems alter the balance of two main hormones that influence cancer cells. One is cortisol, which helps to regulate immune system activity — including the release of certain “natural killer” cells that help the body battle cancer. The other hormone affected by sleep is melatonin. Produced by the brain during sleep, melatonin may have antioxidant properties that help prevent damage to cells that can lead to cancer.
People under a lot of stress have fewer natural killer cells, immune system cells that spontaneously kill abnormal cells in their vicinity, including tumor cells and infected cells. We also know that the killer cells of people under stress are also less active. Studies have shown that the absence of natural killer cells is related to the progression of breast cancer. Spiegel says, “I think one of the problems these cancer patients may have is that their immune system is overregulated. Cortisol suppresses immune function and may hamper the immune system’s ability to counter the spread of cancer,” Spiegel said.
It is only when the immune system has become compromised that the cancer cells can grow in an uncontrolled manner, thereby causing the onset of cancer as a severe life threatening disease. Prolonged stress is very different than acute stress. Chronic stress needs to be seen for what it is, a highway to the grave. Stress is not just something that we feel it’s something our cells feel. To them it does not matter so much the source of the stress, stress is stress and each type will have a general debilitating effect.
There are a number of factors that create stress on the body’s cells. They come from all corners of our lives. Psychological stresses like inescapable shock (resulting in PTSD), repressed emotional pain and anger, emotional trauma, depression, isolation, will lead to a deteriorating situation for the life of one’s cells. Poor sleep and poor breathing will always wear ones resistance away and then there are strong physiological stresses, which include poor nutrition, chemicals, toxins, radiation, parasites, mercury containing dental amalgam, vaccines also with mercury, air pollution, fluoride and chlorinated water, lack of sun and of course lack of exercise.
When it comes to sexual cancers we have to look all the way back in time to sexual and even emotional abuse from the times of childhood. Any sexual violence against us at any age can terrify and shock us into a life of grief and eventually to the shores of cancer. There are certain life events like the sudden loss of a loved one, rape, or intense experiences in combat that bring on a trauma that is beyond the ability of even well-adjusted people to deal with. In his book Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman reported a similar process to what Dr. Hamer outlines namely post-traumatic stress disorders. (PTSD)
The most common cause of PTSD in women is sexual trauma. A person’s vulnerability to develop PSTD is linked to that individual’s history of victimization. Reports estimate that 15%-38% of women experience childhood sexual abuse, 13% to 20% experience adult rape and at least 20% experience battering. Sexual and physical abuse in women, either when they were children or as adults, can result in post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD and other psychological and psychiatric disturbances. A growing number of studies indicate that such abuse may produce a wide variety of somatic symptoms and disturbances in physical health including cancer.
1 in 5 Women in U.S. say they have been sexually assaulted according the Center for Diseases Control (CDC). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), an exhaustive report on rape and intimate partner violence, affirming what many organizations and advocates have long suspected, that sexual violence against women remains endemic in the United States and is more common than previously thought.
There is a link between a history of sexual and physical
abuse in women and functional disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and chronic pelvic pain.
Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) is a psychological injury that results from protracted exposure to prolonged social and/or interpersonal trauma with lack or loss of control, disempowerment, and in the context of either captivity or entrapment, i.e. the lack of a viable escape route for the victim. C-PTSD is distinct from, but similar to, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
C-PTSD was first described in 1992 by Judith Herman in her book Trauma & Recovery. Forms of trauma associated with C-PTSD include sexual abuse (especially child sexual abuse), physical abuse, emotional abuse, domestic violence or torture — all repeated traumas in which there is an actual or perceived inability for the victim to escape.
Sex lies at the very root of our existence and when that root
is rotten the rest of our vehicle of consciousness is prone to
a multitude of disease states and psycho-spiritual distortions.
PTSD fails to account for a wide cluster of symptoms that are observed in cases of prolonged abuse, particularly that which was perpetrated by caregivers during several childhood and adolescent developmental stages. These symptoms include psychological fragmentation, the loss of a sense of safety, trust, and self-worth, as well as the tendency to be revictimized, and, most importantly, the loss of a coherent sense of self. It is this loss of a coherent sense of self, and the ensuing symptom profile, that most pointedly differentiates C-PTSD from PTSD.
Intense traumatic events, such as maternal separation,
occurring early in the life of an infant may weaken its
immune system, making it more susceptible to viral
infections later in life that could trigger multiple sclerosis.
Dr. Jane Welsh
Texas A&M University
In almost all cases of serious illness, a core issue is hiding or there is an unresolved conflict that’s been repeating over and over in a person’s life and the source of that is often sexual in nature. Core issues, or what might be seen as unrecognized truths that are waiting to be discovered, maintain patterns of energy that hold pain and dysfunction in place.
Experiences of childhood trauma caused by abuse or neglect can lead to a variety of overwhelming emotions, such as anger, sadness, guilt, and shame. In order to avoid such feelings, children can take refuge in dissociation, denial, amnesia, or emotional numbing (Everett & Gallop, 2001). These coping mechanisms can become over-generalized with time and without protective factors (i.e., positive events or characteristics) to intervene, these negative outcomes may continue throughout life. Adult survivors of childhood trauma may also find it difficult to control emotions and or actions. For adults with a history of childhood trauma, recollections of past trauma can almost be as strongly felt as if it was happening again, which may lead to unexpected reactions, such as lashing out in anger or bursting into uncontrolled weeping in response to what most people would view as relatively minor events (Everett & Gallop, 2001).
Drs. James H. Stephenson and William J. Grace of New York Hospital compared 100 women with cancer of the cervix and 100 with cancer not involving the reproductive system. They found that sexual adjustment among the cervix cancer victims had been poor long before they developed the disease: They had had less intercourse than the others and rarely enjoyed orgasm. In many cases there was actual aversion for the sexual act.
In The Breast Journal, an Essay on Sexual Frustration as the Cause of Breast Cancer in Women: How Correlations and Cultural Blind Spots Conceal Causal Effects has as its main thesis that breast cancer is essentially caused by sexual frustration and dissatisfaction. These are not the common causes that the Mayo Clinic had in mind.
We already know that depressed people suffer higher rates of cancer for they die more frequently from it than their happier peers. This is just basic commonsense backed by clinical reality. One large-scale study among approximately 2,000 middle-aged male employees of the Western Electric Company reported that those individuals who were more depressed were 2.3 times as likely to die of cancer during the following 17 years than their non-depressed counterparts.
 Life Stress and Cancer of the Cervix. JAMES H. STEPHENSON, M.D., and WILLIAM J. GRACE, M.D. http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/cgi/reprint/16/4/287.pdf
 Stress, Emotions, and Câncer. University of Iowa. http://www.uihealthcare.com/topics/medicaldepartments/cancercenter/prevention/preventionstress.html
Women with advanced breast cancer who have abnormal daytime levels of cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress, are significantly more likely to die sooner than patients with normal levels of the hormone, Stanford University researchers reported back in 2000. The researchers also found that women with these abnormal cortisol levels had fewer immune system cells known as natural killer cells, and this reduced immunity was associated with higher mortality. Dr. David Spiegel, MD, Stanford professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences said, “We found that patients who had abnormal cortisol patterns died significantly sooner.”
Medicine recognizes that breast cancer patients with a history of traumatic or stressful life events have a two-fold increased risk of recurrence. Patients reporting one or more traumatic or stressful events had a median disease-free interval of 31 months compared with 62 months for patients with no such events, Oxana Palesh, Ph.D., of the University of Rochester, and colleagues reported in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research in 2007.
“Extended periods of stress and trauma and its resulting cortisol production may interfere with the body’s ability to fight off cancer progression,” said Dr. Palesh. “When there is consistent, long-term stress in the body, the elevated cortisol level may change the body’s normal rhythms and potentially reduce resistance to tumor growth.”