My Ovacome
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Work-related stress

Dundeegirl's question and my own experience have prompted me to undertake a highly scientific survey.

1. How many of you suffered a period of work-related stress at some time prior to your OC diagnosis?

2. How would you rate its severity on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being minor and 5 being very severe?

3. Do you think it was a contributory factor towards your cancer?

I don't think my methodology would stand up to much scrutiny from the social science community so I don't anticipate publishing the results. In other words your anonymity is not under threat. :-)


11 Replies

Hi Linda

In answer to your question my job became more and more stressful over the few years before I was diagnosed. I guess around 3/4 on the scale. Used to wake up in the middle of the night sometimes remembering things I needed to do or had forgotten because I had so many 'balls in the air'. Like most businesses nowadays people leave and more and more work is put upon the ones left. Since my return I negotiated a 2 day week, which is wonderful and never took back the stressful part of my job. So life is good.

Love Chris x -):



I definitley know that my stress at work contributed to my cancer and i had a terrible bully of a boss who made it her mission in life to upset everyone as she did,nt have any life outside of work and because i stood up for myself she hated me even more,she would make people stay working till late at night till two in the morning and she did,nt like women working who had children she has now left the company but thinking back i did,nt realise how stressed i was and i am very wary of going back to work xx

kind regards



Hi! What a good idea! YES, YES, YES! I definitely think so. I was working as a head teacher in a socially deprived area for 14 years and with all the government targets, expectations of high SATs scores, difficulties in getting the help we needed for the children from social services, who were so overstretched and then OFSTED .........I was Woking at least a 70 hour week each week, and often in holidays and weekends too. I woke at 4 in the morning regularly, worrying about what I couldn't change, so YES!

There are so many women I've met who have high pressure jobs in the public sector often, who have had OC. I think there could be a study somewhere here. Well done for setting the idea off!

Love Wendy xx


Hi there

I would most definately say that the stress I experienced created by work contributed to my health. There where other factors, my husband had a heart attack on top of already having rheumatoid arthritis, my dad developed dementia and I was trying to care for both as best I could and working fulltime. A new junior member of my team for whom I had responsibility made my life even more difficult, telling lies and setting me up for all sorts of problems, doing detrimental impressions of me behind my back I found out from other staff afterwards.Laughing about my husband being ill. How somebody could be so cruel when somebody was so low. I used to feel sick going into work. It was an impossible situation due to her prior connection to the doctors (NHS surgery).


Yes i was feeling stressed probably a 3 and then when i started with symptoms it increased to 5.Sad thing is i work in a g.p surgery.It wasn't so much my boss but a nurse.I thought i had viral illness plus an abcess on my tooth and i was off a week. and the other nurse was on holiday.When i came back she didn't speak to me and made sneaky comments as if i had been skiving.I only lasted 1 week and got signed off work with anxiety.My anxiety was no one believing how ill i felt.When i was finally diagonised that certain nurse told a colleague that she wanted to ring but didn't know what to say.I can't be bothered to hold grudges life is to short and will never forget how she was but hey i just think i am a nicer person than you and that will never change xx



Yes I know I was definitely stressed at work and with my family- probably rate it a 3. I have often thought it was a contributory factor but don't know that there is any way of proving it. It is very interesting to see that so many of us felt the same way. My tumour was oestrogen fuelled- does stress play a part in raising these hormone levels?

Is there any one out there who knows? xx


Hi Linda,

I can't really comment personally on work-related stress as I had finished work some years before my Ov Ca diagnosis (although hugely stressed with family problems). However, some years ago, when on holiday in France, my husband was taken ill with a virus that settled in his heart and he nearly died. The French consultant asked me if he was under any stress to which I replied that we were really relaxed and having a lovely holiday. He then said, "No, I mean at work". I replied that he was - very stressed, and he then said "Now I can see why this virus has been able to rampage through his body. If I have my way he will never work there again !!". Luckily, my huband was allowed to take Redundancy/ Early Retirement and although financially worse off than we would have been - he made a complete recovery. I can't help thinking that ANY stress lowers our bodies defences against illness.

Love, Solange, with hopefully, one of Gwyn's smiley faces. :-)



just read ur question... my answer is yes too.. my poor mam was diagnosed with breast cancer and she only lived two years.. then my dad had bowel and skin cancer and he died two years afta that.. the year after that my husband was diagnosed with throat cancer and then one year to the exact day i was then diagnosed with oc....

i wonder what i have done wrong.. why has ths happened... i question my faith.. if there is a god.. why has he made me suffer like this... i lost my lovely, hard working parents as if the heartache was not bad enough then my husband had throat cancer.... what have i done to then deserve this....i wish i could turn back the clock and my mam and dad be here with me now...nbut then sometimes i think the pain they woul have gone thru seeing me, would have been too bad for them, as they loved me so much.... sorry for going on. just wish i had anothr life at the moment

best wishes everyone

shen x


Shen, I'm so sorry to read about the dreadful ordeal and heartache you've been through. There's no rhyme nor reason in how our fate is determined. I do so hope that something better awaits you in the future. It sounds as though it's overdue.

Love and best wishes



Hello Shen,

I've just read your posting and I am so sorry to hear what a heartbreaking time you have had (or are having). Life does seem so unfair sometimes. I hope things seem less bleak for you soon and you'll feel more able to see that there Keep your chin up,

With love and sympathy, Solange


Sorry Shen,

My message seems to have gone wrong. What the last bit should say is ............ and you'll feel more able to see that there ARE still some good things in life.

So sorry about that. :-(

Solange :-)


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