Hosting Your Own Holocaust

Among the most unsettling studies ever of how stress contributes to cancer was done not long ago in Israel. Researchers tracked just under 316,000 Holocaust survivors:

. of men and women studied, Israeli Holocaust survivors were 2.5 times more likely to have had cancer than Israelis who were never immediately threatened by Nazi genocide.

.  of men studied, those who spent the entire Second War in Nazi-occupied Europe, survived and then immigrated to Israel, their cancer rate (controlling for other factors) was 3.5 times those of men of the same age who somehow reached Israel during the war.

As to women who were in Europe throughout the war as opposed to those making it to Israel before May, 1945,

.  their cancer rates were more than double.

And the younger a survivor was when the war began, the greater his/her chance was of developing cancer.

These are findings from hell, and I imagine they might hold for many 20th/21st Century targets of genocide durng or after which people in real numbers finally made it to safe havens.

The upshot, of course, is that the younger you are when your world’s turned upside down…when your life’s daily at risk…when this impossible existence is prolonged indeterminately…when the warm rug of familial, communal, and societal security’s yanked from beneath you…the longer this stress corrodes your guts…the greater the chance your body will one day host its own holocaust.