Stress Exacerbates CLL And Speeds Up ... - CLL Support Assoc...

CLL Support Association
13,269 members20,825 posts

Stress Exacerbates CLL And Speeds Up Its Progression

"...Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who feel more stress also have more cancer cells in their blood and elevated levels of three other markers of more advanced disease. A new study of 96 patients is the first to link stress with biological disease markers in patients with CLL. “All four variables we measured are related to prognosis in CLL patients, so they have a lot of relevance,” said Barbara L. Andersen, lead author of the study and professor of psychology at The Ohio State University. “It’s more evidence of the importance of managing stress in cancer patients.”

15 Replies

Interesting article. However this is cross sectional and doesn’t address the issue that maybe the citokines produced by CLL cells might be causing the sense of stress rather than the other way round.

We should talk more about the emotional fatigue stress and just general irritatibikity and finding life hard to cope with. Easy to see that chemicals in our blood designed to tell us we are sick could make us stressed and turn us into bears with sore heads!


I don’t have a single doubt of the validity of these findings and they accord with my observations and general research on this subject over a long period of time.



I believe it is circular...

Here is a more detailed look



It’s still the same issue as is always the case with these association studies. All it shows is that people who had high perceived stress had high blood numbers. It’s at least as likely that the high numbers caused the stress as the other way round.


My stress is at and EPIC level and my ALC dropped from 20 to 14.8 and stabilized over two visits

1. My job was purshased by Unilever and my life is really turned upside down as my wife works there also and her department is supposed to be eliminated March 2019

2. The new house I bought in South Carolina to retire in just made it through Florence undammaged which has been a stressful two weeks and not done yet as you still can’t get from here to there

Ultimately the Unilever thing may be good because I am so done with being put in such a stressful environment over the last two years


Makes sense to me. My stress spiked this year and my levels went from a watch and wait to urgent treatment.

I have no doubt stress has played a role in my condition.


Well I guess that leaves me even more stressed.......partner ill with advanced prostate cancer now approaching 5 years and suffering.....ovarian cancer not yet had an all clear, having to have the roofers in which stresses out my partner. 7.5 years into my CLL journey.

Well I think I’ll just ignore this post as there is nothing I can do to change my situation, otherwise I might get stressed.




My CLL was fairly stable until I had a near fatal motorcycle accident which left me with multiple serious injuries. Four years of orthopedic treatment, six major surgeries, no end of pain and discomfort, loss of independence, loss of income (self employed) and I could go on. During this time my CLL started to progress rapidly leading to treatment in June this year. There is no doubt in my mind that the stress induced as a result of my accident was responsible for the acceleration of my CLL disease.


Thank you Dirk

I’ve always thought of myself as this strong person that did not need any medication. After talking with my GP about my CLL, she recommended I try anxiety medication. It has made a huge difference for me.


1 like

Curious to learn what anti-anxiety medication you were prescribed. I'm suffering from tremendous anxiety and my hematologist won't prescribe anything. Also, with the CLL, experience terrible episodes of fatigue.


I sent you a private message.


If there is anyone with CLL who does not have stress - I'd like to know their secret!

I am one of those people who looks at anxiety medication as a weakness, until I asked myself if I want to waste the days I have being miserable.



Absolutely perfectly correct. Thanks


I was on watch and wait for 2 and a hlf years and had a very stressfull job with an idiot for a boss that stressed me out every day. I do believe that stress played a large part in making my CLL jump from stage zero to stage four after the 2.5 years. I have a new job now with much less stress and am in remission after treatment. Hopefully I will stay put at this job for about 4 or 5 years until I retire. No more stressful jobs for me thankyou...:)



Can absolutely relate to your experience with an "idiot" manager. I am convinced that the 2 co-managers I had several years ago caused my fibromyalgia. Still on medication for that! On w+w since diagnosed w/CLL in 2016. Did you take any medication for stress? I'm now under a LOT of stress after being laid off!


You may also like...