Some people have suggested a link between psychological stress (which is what people experience when under mental, physical or emotional pressure) and an increased risk of cancer. However, there is no strong evidence for this. Most studies have not found that such stress increases the risk of cancer.1

However, people under stress can sometimes behave in unhealthy ways, such as smoking, overeating or drinking heavily, which do increase their risk of many cancers. It’s important to find other ways of coping with stress, such as doing physical activity, relaxation techniques or talking to friends and family.2

For more information on how to manage stress, visit


1. World Cancer Research Fund. What can increase your risk of cancer?. 2018.

2. NHS. How to deal with stress. 2018.