The Grapevine

Are Brokenhearted People More At Risk Of Having Cancer?

Breakups can be rough. The year 2019 has been not that good and romantic for dozens of celebrity couples. 

Over the past months, the public heard a series of breakups involving famous names. Adele, Amber Heard, Bradley Cooper, Demi Lovato, Kate Beckinsale, Kendall Jenner, Nicolas Cage and Ryan Seacrest were among the celebrities who recently called it quits with their partners. 

Experiencing a breakup can affect you emotionally. But heartbreak may also hurt you physically and cause life-threatening health problems. 

A new study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, shows that a condition called broken heart syndrome, which occurs due to emotional or physical stress, may contribute to the development of cancer. Researchers also found that the heart problem could reduce the person’s chances of surviving cancer. 

Broken heart syndrome, also known as takotsubo syndrome, feels like a heart attack. It causes chest pain and shortness of breath as the heart's main pumping chamber enlarges and struggles to pump blood. 

Researchers said that one in six people with the syndrome developed cancer. What makes the findings more alarming is that these people are also less likely to survive for five years after diagnosis. 

The team said their study describes the strongest link between the broken heart syndrome and cancer.

Researchers analyzed data of more than 1,600 patients with broken heart syndrome from 26 centers. Breast cancer was the most common type of cancer that occurred during the study followed by tumors on the gastrointestinal system, respiratory tract, internal sex organs and skin.

"Patients with broken heart syndrome might benefit if screened for cancer to improve their overall survival," Christian Templin, senior study author and a director at the University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland, said in a statement

"Our study also should raise awareness among oncologists and hematologists that broken heart syndrome should be considered in patients undergoing cancer diagnosis or treatment who experience chest pain, shortness of breath, or abnormalities on their electrocardiogram," he added.  

The researchers said the participants who developed cancer may not survive for 30 days after symptoms of the syndrome occur. The same group may also require intensive heart and respiratory support.

The lifespan of the patients with cancer and the broken heart syndrome may not reach five years after the conditions occur. 

Woman A new study shows that a condition called broken heart syndrome, which occurs due to emotional or physical stress, may contribute to the development of cancer. Pixabay

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