Couples coping with cancer

W. Kim Halford, Suzanne Chambers and Samantha Clutton

in Casebook of clinical geropsychology

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780199583553
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754678 | DOI:
Couples coping with cancer

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  • Psychiatry
  • Geriatric Medicine


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As people age, they are more likely to suffer from physical illnesses and disabilities, which present significant challenges to the sufferer, partner, and family. One of the most common illnesses associated with aging is cancer. As the above quotes illustrate, reactions to the diagnosis and treatment of cancers are highly variable among the sufferers, their partner, and family members. This chapter reviews the psychological effects of cancer diagnosis and treatment on older people, with a particular emphasis on how couples cope with cancer. The focus is on two of the most common forms of cancer for older people: breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. Aside from the high prevalence of these forms of cancer, we focus on breast and prostate cancer as each impact upon parts of the body associated with sexuality and gender identity, and poses particular challenges to the aging couple.

Chapter.  10312 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry ; Geriatric Medicine

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