‘RHONJ’: Amber Marchese Backs up Peggy Sulahian’s Claim Her Cancer Would Return If She Came Back to ‘RHOC’

Peggy Sulahian from The Real Housewives of Orange County said she would never return to the series for fear it would trigger her cancer to return.

Sulahian only appeared on RHOC for season 12 with a big part of her storyline being recovery from breast cancer. She recently shared on the Behind the Velvet Rope with David Yontef podcast that there is no way she’d return to the series because of her health.

Peggy Sulahian
Peggy Sulahian |Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

“It’s a lot,” she said about being on the show. “My health is my priority. I don’t want cancer back because once you have it I believe it will always come back. As a child, I always believed I was going to get it. I always felt it, it’s gonna come, it’s gonna come, it’s gonna come, and it did come.”

Amber Marchese from ‘RHONJ’ agrees with Sulahian

Amber Marchese from The Real Housewives of New Jersey thinks Sulahian is right for staying away. Viewers watched Marchese deal with breast cancer too and she later experienced a reoccurrence.

“I’m going to handle this with grace, positivity and faith,” she shared with E! News in 2015. “I don’t know why this is happening to me, but it is. So I have to turn it into an opportunity to raise awareness. Some good has to come from this.” After completing treatment, Marchese announced she was in remission in 2016. Marchese was then diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2016 after experiencing some hallmark symptoms.

She commented on Yontef’s Instagram post about Sulahian. Marchese agreed that the stress from filming can be problematic. “Mine did,” she pointed out. “6 months after I filmed the last episode, i was re- diagnosed.”

Sulahian insists that once you have cancer, you are more susceptible to a reoccurrence. “Your body makes it no matter what,” she insists. “I’m waiting for it, basically. That’s how I feel. These things you didn’t see [on the show]. It goes so deep. It’s so relatable. My DM’s are out of control.”

Is there a link between stress and cancer?

While short term stress, like preparing for an important meeting or getting ready for a big event is not likely to be harmful, chronic stress can be damaging, according to MD Anderson Cancer Center.

“Chronic stress is not something anyone in our society should take lightly,” Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., professor of General Oncology and Behavioral Science, and director of the Integrative Medicine Program at MD Anderson said. “Caring for a sick loved one or dealing with a long stint of unemployment are common causes of chronic stress.” 

Anil K. Sood, M.D., professor of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine at MD Anderson adds, “Chronic stress also can help cancer grow and spread in a number of ways.”

However, the National Cancer Insitute notes that psychological stress alone is not likely to be the root cause of cancer. However, “Evidence from experimental studies does suggest that psychological stress can affect a tumor’s ability to grow and spread.” Chronic stress can also lead to unhealthy behaviors like drinking or smoking, which are used as coping mechanisms for stress.