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Inflammation, Chronic Disease, and Cancer: Is Psychological Distress the Common Thread?

  • Feridey N. Carr
  • Elizabeth M. Sosa
Chapter

Abstract

Mounting evidence suggests that the inflammatory mechanism plays a central role in the development and exacerbation of multiple chronic illnesses, including gastrointestinal, pulmonary, and cardiovascular disease, as well as obesity and rheumatoid arthritis. It has further been suggested that chronic inflammation is correlated with various types of cancer. While multiple studies have demonstrated that certain chronic diseases predict increased risk of malignancies, recent scholarship suggests that the inflammatory mechanism may in fact serve as a major factor in the pathogenesis of cancer. As psychological stress is known to influence individual levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, it is possible that mental health problems such as chronic stress and depression may indirectly contribute to cancer development.

Keywords

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Inflammatory Bowel Disease Ulcerative Colitis Psychological Distress 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical PsychologyCalifornia School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University—Los AngelesAlhambraUSA

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