Life-Threatening Disease Biopsychosocial Dimensions of Cancer Care

  • Michael A. Andrykowski
  • William H. Redd


The twentieth century has witnessed significant changes in life expectancy and in the major causes of death in the United States. Two related trends are often cited. First, people are living longer. Mean life expectancy at birth rose from 49.2 years for 1900–1902 to 73.7 years in 1979 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1984). This dramatic increase has been attributed to the control of acute infectious diseases. In 1900, approximately 36% of all deaths resulted from infectious or infection-related diseases such as measles, tuberculosis, diphtheria, influenza, or pneumonia. The corresponding figure for 1980 was 6% (Matarazzo, 1982). Increased longevity, however, has been associated with increased vulnerability to chronic diseases. Deaths related to chronic diseases rose from approximately 20% in 1900 to 70% in 1980 (Matarazzo, 1982). Indeed, today the three leading causes of death in the United States (heart disease, cancer, and cerebrovascular disease) are chronic conditions. Together, they account for 68.3% of all deaths (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1984).


Behavioral Intervention Sexual Dysfunction Psychosocial Intervention Behavioral Medicine Relaxation Training 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael A. Andrykowski
    • 1
  • William H. Redd
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Behavioral ScienceUniversity of Kentucky, College of MedicineLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA

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