You might never have thought about monkeys going through menopause, but researchers at Wake Forest University are studying menopausal monkeys to learn more about stress and whether it can increase the risk of cancer.
The conclusion they are coming to is this: relax, because it may help save your life. The study found stressed out females who were also socially isolated, had a higher risk of endometrial cancer, which is cancer of the lining of the uterus, compared to other females who were not just calmer but also more social among their peers.
"We need to think about the effects of stress on cancer very seriously I think, we have mouse models and now monkey models that say that stress exacerbates cancer risk," says Dr. Carol Shively, a stress researcher at Wake Forest University.
Dr. Shively says studies on people are coming soon, but in the meantime, she says the message for women now is if you can't find time to relax, at least make time to get regular check-ups.
The study was conducted by researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and is published in the Journal Menopause and The Journal of the North American Menopause Society.