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Psychogenic Etiology and Prognosis of Cancer—Current Status of Theory

  • Bernard H. Fox
Part of the The Downstate Series of Research in Psychiatry and Psychology book series (DSRPP, volume 5)

Abstract

During the last five or ten years, there has been much interest in regard to two speculations: first, that certain personality features tend to predispose people to cancer or that stress can induce or predispose to cancer; and second, that among those who already have the disease, personality or stress can affect its progress or indeed affect survival time. Scientists have been looking at these questions for a long time. Three answers have appeared for both human and animal studies. The first is, “Yes, this, that or the other stressful event or personality feature does affect the appearance or progress of cancer.” The second is “No, it doesn’t.” The third is, “We really don’t know because the studies that were done were poorly designed and we can’t draw secure conclusions from flawed studies, some badly flawed.” There is a large question mark in regard to the animal characteristics question, mostly because that issue was really not pursued to any degree. After all, who would ask about “personality” of mice in relation to cancer susceptibility?

Keywords

Psychosocial Factor Cancer Susceptibility Behavioral Medicine Psychosomatic Medicine Psychosomatic Research 
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 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernard H. Fox
    • 1
  1. 1.National Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA

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