Posted by: cg00n | February 4, 2009

Low Stress Diet

The following fascinating little news item just showed up in my inbox, thanks to Dr. E.E of Toronto:

Stress may accelerate progression of malignant melanoma, researchers say.

AHN (2/2, Young) reported that Ohio State University researchers “say that stress can accelerate the progression of malignant melanoma, a particularly aggressive form of skin cancer.” In fact, “even hearing the diagnosis could induce enough stress to amplify the progression of malignant melanoma,” according to the paper published in the February issue of Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

For the study, investigators “exposed three melanoma cell lines to norepinephrine, a naturally occurring compound that functions as a stress hormone,” the National Business Review (2/3) added. They eventually found that “in the most aggressive and advanced form of the melanoma, there was a 2,000 percent increase in one protein, Interleukin-6, where in untreated samples IL-6 is usually undetectable.” The team also “showed that once the norepinephrine molecule binds to receptors on the surface of cancer cells, it stimulates the release of the proteins that support angiogenesis and tumor growth.” Then, they “confirmed that receptors were present in all three cell lines before testing what would happen when the receptors were blocked by common blood pressure medicine — or so-called ‘beta-blockers.'” And, “when the beta-blockers bound to the receptors, production reduced significantly, indicating that using these types of medications in melanoma patients may slow the progression of the disease.”

Well, whaddya know?  I’m due to see the psychiatrist in a couple of days so I will certainly raise this point.

Actually, as you can probably tell from the tone of most of my recent postings, I am feeling quite relaxed at present.  Another little breakthrough in my life is the discovery that taking one-quarter of a clonazepam pill is enough to give me a very reliable, good, sound night’s sleep.  It feels wonderful to be able to put the light out and be asleep within half an hour.

All the mindfulness work I’ve been doing is also producing dividends.  I am beginning to notice when negative thoughts or anxious feelings come up and I can often simply decide not to go there.  Of course, a whole chunk of this could be due to the combination of the low dose of clonazepam and the rather higher dose of prozac, but I think I am acquiring a little more control over  the wetware in my skull.

After the psychiatrist I go more or less directly to see the surgeon who will physically examine my leg, looking for subcutaneous lumps or any other signs of new tumour formation.  My own occasional explorations have turned up nothing more sinister than the long-lived insect bite – yes, it is still there!  I’ll post the results of the doctors’ visits FYI.

Finally, in a completely prosaic development, I have figured out how to upload pictures to this blog.  An experiment managed to link a picture of the family into the pre-Christmas posting.  There should be more to look at (some of it pretty stomach turning, but educational) in the near future.

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Responses

  1. What were the doctor visit results?


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