Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab


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


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...


Cancer Risk Stressful Life Event Behavioral Factor Unhealthy Behavior Daily Hassle 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

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