Background: Physical and emotional stressors have been found to mediate a wide variety of biological changes including the facilitation of tumor progression; however most of these paradigms utilized artificial sources of neoplasms and stress.
Methods: Skh mice were exposed to carcinogenic doses of ultraviolet light (UV). The stressed group was subjected to the close proximity of fox urine as a source of stress from the presence of the odor of their natural predator, while the control group remained stress free.
Results: A significant acceleration in the development of cutaneous neoplasms was observed in mice that had been exposed to the stressor. The first tumor appeared in the group after 8 weeks, whereas nonstressed mice began to develop these by week 21.
Conclusion: These results suggest that stress plays a role in potentiating cutaneous carcinogenesis.