Chapter

Psychosocial Interventions and Prognosis in Cancer

DAVID SPIEGEL and FAWZY I. FAWZY

in The Link Between Religion and Health

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780195143607
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199893256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143607.003.0006
Psychosocial Interventions and Prognosis in Cancer

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This chapter explores the effects that psychosocial interventions can have on cancer prognosis. The results of major studies that examined the impact of psychosocial and behavioral interventions on survival in patients with breast cancer and malignant melanoma respectively are discussed, along with the immune mechanisms that may be involved in the remarkable effects observed. The role of religion and spirituality as elements of psychosocial support in the support, treatment and prognosis of cancer patients is also considered, together with the relationship between stress, endocrine function, and cancer progression. There seems to be a convergence of evidence that factors involved in religious and spiritual belief, including meaning, purpose and hope in life, and social support, may have beneficial effects on how well and even how long people live with cancer.

Keywords: psychosocial interventions; cancer prognosis; malignant melanoma; spirituality; stress; endocrine function; behavioral interventions

Chapter.  6715 words. 

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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