The large population sample study by researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) also showed no strong evidence of associations even among select groups of the population.

"The general public may have a perception that stress contributes to cancer occurrence," said corresponding author Jaimie L. Gradus, assistant professor of psychiatry and epidemiology.

"This study, however, provided no evidence that a severe chronic stress disorder such as PTSD is associated with cancer incidence," he added.

According to the researchers, the large sample and long study period allowed them to examine associations that have not been studied previously as they were able to look at rare cancer outcomes and associations among important subgroups.

Researchers compared the rate of various cancer diagnoses among people with PTSD with the standardised cancer rate from the general population in the same time period.

The association between stress and cancer has been discussed in scientific literature for more than 70 years. Despite plausible theories that would support this association, findings from clinical research have been mixed.

The paper appeared in the European Journal of Epidemiology.


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