There is evidence to suggest that exposure to earlier stressful life events (SLEs) can influence coping strategies and quality of survivorship in women after cancer diagnosis. In this study, we tested alternate life course models to determine which best described associations between exposure to stressors in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, perceived stress, and self-reported health in women previously treated for breast, gynaecological, and haematological cancer. Data were drawn from 351 Australian women within 2 years of completing active cancer treatment who were participating in the Women’s Wellness After Cancer Program (WWACP) randomised-controlled trial. A model building framework compared the "accumulative risk" and "critical period" stress exposure hypotheses with the saturated model. The best fitting model was then used to explore the correlations between exposure to stressors across the life course, perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale, PSS), and depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, CES-D) in women after cancer. Excluding cancer diagnosis and treatment, around half of women aged 18-39 years (48%, n = 169), and 64% during the middle years (n = 228) reported exposure to stressors. Modelling suggested a graded effect between SLEs and health indicators that were consistent with the accumulative hypothesis. Moreover, among women who reported the greatest adversity across the lifespan, they also reported higher perceived stress (PSS, p = 0.02) and had a 2.38 higher odds of major depressive symptoms (95% CI 1.80 - 2.95) compared with those without accumulated SLEs. Findings showed that major depressive symptoms were increased in women with accumulated SLEs and highlights the need for supportive stress-management strategies in women previously treated cancer.