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Chronic psychological stress and its impact on the development of aggressive breast cancer

Thayse Fachin Cormanique Lirane Elize Defante Ferreto de Almeida Cynthia Alba Rech Daniel Rech Ana Cristina da Silva do Amaral Herrera Carolina Panis About the authors


To investigate the clinicopathological findings of women diagnosed with breast cancer and study the impact of chronic psychological stress on the pathological characteristics of these tumors.


We investigated a cohort composed of women diagnosed with breast cancer and divided into two groups. One group was categorized as presenting with chronic psychological stress (by using the Self-Reporting Questionnaire − SRQ-20). Another group of women with breast cancer, but with no previous history of chronic psychological stress, comprised the Control Group. Clinical and pathological data were assessed.


Women presenting with a history of chronic distress were significantly overweight when compared to the Control Group. Furthermore, it was observed that these stressed women also had a significant percentage of aggressive breast cancer subtype, the HER2 amplified tumor, which could be putatively associated with the loss of immunosurveillance.


Our findings suggested an interaction among chronic psychological stress, overweight, and the development of more aggressive breast tumors.

Stress, psychological; Breast neoplasms; Overweight; Obesity; Monitoring, immunologic

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