Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Stress

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_5526-3

Definition

There are different ways to investigate the phenomenon of “stress.” From the biologist’s point of view, stress can be defined as the unspecific biological response of the body to any stressor. The biological stress response includes the activation of the sympathetic nervous system and the release of several hormones (most prominently adrenaline and cortisol) and is among other reactions associated with an increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, altered immune system response, and suppression of the digestive system.

From the psychological point of view, stress is a transactional process which depends on the meaning a person attributes to a stressor. In terms of the transactional stress model which was developed by Lazarus and Folkman, stress results from the subjects’ appraisal that a certain stressor or situation is perceived as threatening (as opposed to challenging or harmless or irrelevant) and that the demands of the stressor exceed the individual’s resources to...

Keywords

Cancer Risk Stressful Life Event Behavioral Factor Unhealthy Behavior Daily Hassle 
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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References

  1. Bergelt C, Prescott E, Groenbaek M et al (2006) Stressful life events and cancer risk. Br J Cancer 95:1579–1581CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
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  4. Fox BH (1995) The role of psychological factors in cancer incidence and prognosis. Oncology 9:245–253PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Lazarus RS, Folkman S (1984) Stress, appraisal, and coping. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Medical PsychologyUniversity Medical Center Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany