Cancer: Psychological & Social Aspects

Cancer treatments today are likely to cause less physical deformity from surgery than a half-century ago, but are more complex and extend over a longer period of time. People today are often well informed about the details of their cancer diagnosis and prognosis, and are increasingly involved in shared decision-making regarding treatment. Although serious depression is not seen in the majority of cancer patients and survivors, many will experience treatment-related distress, fear of recurrence, changes in body image and sexuality, as well as physical toxicities that result from adjuvant therapy. It is important to identify the psychological and social concerns of cancer patients in the medical setting, and assisting them in obtaining appropriate psychosocial services.

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