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Episode #106: Managing Stress

Dr. Howard Crawford discusses the significant role stress plays in the development and progression of pancreatic cancer. Stress can lead to perineural invasion, a common form of pancreatic cancer metastasis, and the presence of sensory neurons in the pancreas can lead to pain and gut issues experienced by patients. A study by Tim Wong at Columbia University found that isolating mice with precursors to pancreatic cancer and subjecting them to stress accelerated the formation and progression of the cancer. Research also suggests that patients on beta blockers, which reduce stress responses, have a longer survival rate. The discussion also explores personal experiences, early detection strategies, challenges in diagnosis, strategies for reducing stress, and the potential impact of beta-blockers on survival rates.

HIGHLIGHTS

00:00:00    The role stress plays in the development and progression of pancreatic cancer.

00:05:00    A significant finding in the field of cancer research regarding the role of stress in cancer progression.

00:10:00    The interconnected relationship between the nervous system and the pancreas, particularly relevant to pancreatic cancer patients.

00:15:00    Greg shares his personal experience of having ancestors with pancreatic cancer and the possible role of stress as a contributing factor.

00:20:00    The importance of having a support system and keeping an active lifestyle through treatment.

00:25:00    The topic shifts to the potential for early detection of pancreatic cancer through tests on the nervous system.

00:30:00    Generalized discomfort of symptoms related to pancreatic cancer and risk factos to avoid.

00:35:00    The importance of doctors listening to patients’ experiences and considering lesser-known causes of their symptoms to improve early detection and differential diagnosis.

00:40:00    Unique relationship between the pancreas and the nervous system.

00:45:00    Discussion shifts towards strategies for reducing stress in individuals who have had pancreatic cancer.

00:50:00    The potential impact of beta-blockers on the survival rates of pancreatic cancer patients.

00:55:00    The placebo effect and its potential impact on reducing stress.