I'm just throwing a thought, a question, out this morning. Along with the headline sudden death of this Christmas, I received in an email exchange with an old workmate news that a woman ex-colleague died of cancer last month. Nothing unusual about that, you may think, but she's either either the fourth or fifth that I know about - albeit over about twenty years.
They all had certain things in common. They were ambitious achievers, in reasonably senior positions and all worked under greater than usual stress and all have died of cancer in their 40s and 50s. The blokes all seem to be buggering on, with various ailments coming with age but not the attrition rate of the big C. And that's anecdotal, not empirical, so not science.
The science I can find tends to say there's no link between stress and female cancer but the many answers seem to indicate that I'm not the only one seeing a correlation and asking the question. Which is, does busting the glass ceiling, competing with men in a male-normative environment, and coping with above normal stress, increase the cancer risk for women?
H, who died most recently, had actually left her high-stress job more than a year ago to do something far more relaxed, that she enjoyed, in a county city that she loved. So poignant.