Stress can cause a number of physical health problems, but evidence of cancer is low. Some studies have demonstrated a correlation between psychological factors including stress and anxiety and increased cancer risk. In contrast, numerous studies have not found evidence that people who are anxious or stressed are more likely than people who are more relaxed to develop cancer. A meta-analysis study of stress and cancer risk published in 2013 found that stress at work (high demand and low occupational control) was not associated with colorectal, pulmonary, breast or prostate cancer. There seems to be no such thing as a person susceptible to cancer.
Many theories can explain the apparent link between stress and cancer. For example, stressful people may develop behaviors such as smoking, drinking or alcohol that are known as cancer risk factors. Similarly, someone with a cancer parent may have a higher cancer risk as a result of genetic risk factors rather than due to stress associated with the diagnosis of a family member.