Ask Dr. Giles: Should I be concerned about his stress at work affecting his health

Jeff asks:

My partner was diagnosed with CC in early February and is undergoing the Gem/Cis Chemo Treatment.  He is doing OK so far on that.  However, he is back to work and is very stressed.  Should I be concerned about his stress at work affecting his health?

Dear Jeff,

I am going to assume that by “very stressed” you mean unhappy and overwhelmed at work.  If that is the case, you are right to be concerned about your partner’s work environment and its impact on his health while he battles Cholangiocarcinoma.  Stress is not automatically a bad thing.  It can motivate us and help us maintain our focus.  But too much stress can make us feel unhappy and overwhelmed.  Too much stress can rob us of restorative sleep, compromise our immune system, impair our digestive system, and sap our physical vitality.  It may be that your partner would benefit from talking with his boss or others about his current health circumstances.  Perhaps adjustments can be made at work so that some workday stress can be alleviated.  That way stress won’t impede on his ability to get the maximum results from his treatment.