Issues in Supportive Care of Cancer Patients

Volume 30 of the series Cancer Treatment and Research pp 149-171

Psychological sequelae in the cured cancer patient

  • David F. Cella

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Because cancer can strike at any age, it has been called ‘the most feared disease of the 20th century’ [1]. The popular press often uses the word cancer as a metaphor to depict the malignant spread of anything from pollution to crime and terrorism. The ‘cancer = death’ equation was reflected in the pre-1970 psychosocial oncology literature, which almost exclusively emphasized the dying process and coping with terminal illness. Not until recently has close attention been paid to the psychological impact of cancer upon the millions of people who are alive and healthy long after treatment ends.